US adds 339k jobs in May, but recession may follow

WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — The White House is taking a victory lap after yet another robust jobs report, although outside economists are more cautious.

In May, the U.S. added another 339,000 jobs to the economy, defying expectations.

“Folks have been underestimating the number of jobs for like 10 months at this point,” said Bharat Ramamurti, White House economist. “We’re in the middle of a really great economic recovery.”

Ramamurti said the American people should be confident about the economy’s direction.

“Jobs are becoming better-paying, and that for 10 or 11 straight months now, inflation is moving downwards,” Ramamurti said.

But outside economists, like Ethan Harris with Bank of America, warned the winning streak won’t last.

Harris said robust job gains only add pressure on the Federal Reserve to keep raising interest rates, something that could force American families and businesses to cut back.

“I’d be surprised if there aren’t more layoffs,” Harris said.

This could trigger a mild recession, according to Harris.

“People need to be aware that it’s going to be a bit of a bumpy ride in the next year for the economy,” he said.

To avoid this, the Federal Reserve is expected to pause interest rate hikes when it meets in two weeks, after raising them for 10 straight months.

“I think it’s too close to call,” Harris said. “If they don’t hike (interest rates) in June, they’ll hike in July.”

The White House does not think a recession is on the horizon.

“There is nothing in the data we’re getting that would suggest that,” Ramamurti said.

The White House believes inflation will continue to come down.

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