US job growth might have picked up in May despite trade rift

By CHRISTOPHER RUGABERMarketsAssociated Press

U.S. employers are thought to have hired at a solid pace in May and helped extend the economy's nearly nine-year expansion — the second-longest on record — despite uncertainty caused by trade disputes.

Economists have forecast that employers added 190,000 jobs last month and that the unemployment rate remained at a 17-year low of 3.9 percent, according to data provider FactSet.

Continue Reading Below

The Labor Department's May jobs report will be released at 8:30 a.m. Eastern time.

Solid hiring data would coincide with other evidence that the economy is on firm footing after a brief slowdown in the first three months of the year. The economy grew at a modest 2.2 percent annual rate in the January-March quarter, after three quarters that had averaged roughly 3 percent annually.