Private US companies created 133,000 jobs in May, a lower number than forecast, payroll company ADP Employer Services said today, according to Bloomberg News.
Separate figures released by the US Labor Dept. showed that new claims for unemployment insurance rose last week to a five-week high, Reuters reported.
More from GlobalPost: Extended unemployment benefits to end
Both reports sketch a picture of an economy that has lost some steam, experts said.
“While this isn't a horrible number, it shows we're in a lackluster period in the economy right now,” Wayne Kaufman, chief market analyst at John Thomas Financial in New York, told Reuters about the ADP jobs report. “Hopefully the recent negative trends will reverse themselves, but it is hard to see what will cause that."
“Businesses are adding workers at a pace that is not very impressive,” David Sloan, a senior economist at 4Cast Inc. in New York, told Bloomberg News. “The unemployment rate is not going to fall rapidly. The numbers are consistent with an economy that is growing modestly.”
The average monthly increase for private-sector payrolls in the second quarter was 123,000 jobs, ADP said, according to MarketWatch. In the first quarter, private employers were adding more than 200,000 jobs a month.
ADP’s private-employer report shows small businesses created 67,000 of the new jobs in May, medium businesses added 57,000 jobs, and large businesses added 9,000 positions, MarketWatch reported.
More from GlobalPost: US consumer confidence in jobs, economy falls in May