Washington, D.C. — Michael Madowitz, an economist at the Center for American Progress, released the following statement today after the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released the Employment Situation figures for May 2018:
The U.S. Department of Labor reports the economy added 223,000 jobs in May, with the unemployment rate falling to 3.8 percent. Wages grew 3.7 percent over the past year, signaling that workers still are not seeing the broad-based gains we expect from an economy that has been growing the top line for such a long time. It’s positive news that more Americans continue to find work; it’s troubling that we’re seeing fairly meager gains for those already employed. It is, however, surprising and disturbing that President Trump broke decades of protocol by appearing to tip off financial markets and traders with inside information this morning.
It’s tempting to read this month as another data point in an economy that continues to work primarily for those at the top. Markets expect more reminders of this status quo later this month when the Federal Reserve is expected to raise interest rates and slow the economy down, in part, as a response to the tax cuts for the richest Americans and wealthy corporations passed by the Congressional majority at the end of last year. Unfortunately, those tax cuts went overwhelmingly to the wealthiest Americans and corporations that were already awash in cash and appear to have done little to help working Americans who need a raise.
Related resource: The State of the U.S. Labor Market for Mothers: Pre-May 2018 Jobs Release by Daniella Zessoules, Annie McGrew, and Michael Madowitz
For more information or to speak with an expert, contact Allison Preiss at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202.478.6331.