Gene Epstein of Barron’s explores the early economic news from Donald Trump’ presidential administration.

If, as is customary, economic performance under a new president starts in the second quarter of his first year in office, then Donald Trump has not yet had his first 100 days, but about 60, a preliminary report card for sure. Based on April and May data, however, the economy looks barely different from that of his predecessor.

The employment report for May, released Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, fell way short of consensus expectations. Not only did gains in nonfarm payroll employment run at a tame 138,000, against a consensus projection of 180,000, there were downward revisions to the two prior months’ figures. The average increase for May and April came to a lackluster 156,000. There are technical factors that resulted in May looking unusually weak, which augurs well for June. But even if June does shows a substantial pickup, the second quarter will still look mediocre.

The unemployment rate did tick down, from 4.4% to 4.3%, a cyclical low. But such declines are also business as usual, and have been fairly rapid because the share of willing participants in the labor force is unusually low. The labor force participation rate, the percentage of the civilian population 16 and over either working or actively seeking work, fell to 62.7% from 62.9%. At 62.7%, it’s barely higher than the 38-year low of 62.4%, reached in September 2015.

The building blocks of gross domestic product do signal that annualized growth will exceed 3% in the second quarter, up from 1.2% in the first. But a rebound from the first quarter to the second is also a repeat of past patterns. It will tell us next to nothing about Donald Trump’s claim that 3% growth will be sustainable under his administration.