Friday, June 1, 2012

Unemployment Rate Rises to 8.2%

These are bad numbers all around. Hard to find a silver lining here.

"Jim Pethokoukis called this a “huge miss” on Twitter, and he’s right. Analysts expected the US economy to add 150,000 jobs in May. Instead, we saw only a net gain of 69,000 jobs, and the jobless rate went up slightly to 8.2%:

Nonfarm payroll employment changed little in May (+69,000), and the unemployment rate was essentially unchanged at 8.2 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment increased in health care, transportation and warehousing, and wholesale trade but declined in construction. Employment was little changed in most other major industries.

The long-term unemployed jumped up by 300,000 as well, while participation ratios rose:

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks and over) rose from 5.1 to 5.4 million in May. These individuals accounted for 42.8 percent of the unemployed. (See table A-12.)

The civilian labor force participation rate increased in May by 0.2 percentage point to 63.8 percent, offsetting a decline of the same amount in April. The employment- population ratio edged up to 58.6 percent in May. (See table A-1.)

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) edged up to 8.1 million over the month. These individuals were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job. (See table A-8.)

In other words, this is an unmitigated flop.

As noted, U-3 (the topline jobless rate) went from 8.1% to 8.2%, the first increase of any kind in that measure since June 2011. The U-6 figure, which comprises all unemployed and marginally attached workers, rose from 14.5% to 14.8%.

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