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Lousy Numbers: Just 69,000 New Jobs in May; Unemployment Back Up to 8.2%

| June 1, 2012

Click on the graph for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

Last Updated: 8:54 a.m.

Bad numbers all around for the American economy in May, hinting at recession: the unemployment rate crept back up to 8.2 percent, from 8.1 percent in April. Just 69,000 jobs were created, the lowest number in a year. And March and April job-creation numbers were revised downward, from 269,000 new jobs to 220,000–a decrease of 49,000.

The souring numbers are bad news for an economy that appears to be heading into worse headwinds–from a crumbling Euro-zone economy to a significant slowdown in the Chinese economy, both big export markets for American goods.

There were 12.7 million unemployed Americans in May, though the labor force participation increased by 0.2 percent, to 63.8 percent, offsetting a decline of the same amount in April. Labor force participation is an indication of workers’ mood about the economy: the more workers think they have a chance at getting a job, the likelier they are to rejoin the labor force. But there can also be a lag between workers’ mood and job-market reality: the economy was doing much better in winter. It began souring in spring.

Other indicators suggest a darkening of economic conditions. The number of workers employed part-time against their will–because they could not find full-time work or because their hours were cut back–rose to 8.1 million, and the total proportion of unemployed or under-employed workers, including those who have quit looking for work, is 14.8 percent, a sharp rise from April’s 14.5 percent.

Some highlights:

Health care employment continued to increase in May, by 33,000. Transportation and warehousing added 36,000 jobs. Employment in wholesale trade rose by 16,000, and manufacturing added 12,000.

Construction employment declined by 28,000, especially among specialty trade contractors and in heavy and civil engineering construction, as government projects have slowed down considerably. Employment in professional and business services, in mining and logging, retail trade, information, financial activities, leisure and hospitality, and government, changed little in May.

The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls edged down by 0.1 hour to 34.4 hours in May. The manufacturing workweek declined by 0.3 hour to 40.5 hours. Factory overtime declined by 0.1 hour to 3.2 hours. Average hourly earnings for all employees on private payrolls edged up by 2 cents to $23.41, increasing 1.7 percent in the past 12 months–not enough to keep up with cost-of-living increases in energy, health care and food costs.

[This is a developing story. More soon.]

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16 Responses for “Lousy Numbers: Just 69,000 New Jobs in May; Unemployment Back Up to 8.2%”

  1. Johnny Taxpayer says:

    4 more years! 4 more years! 4 more years! 4 more years! It’s all Bush’s fault.

    • RC says:

      Johnny, check W’s last May job numbers in 2008, much worse than this. This May was actually better than last May, which historically is a slow month, so is June. Then things pick up heading towards Christmas, it’s cyclical. There’s so much more to this than to put it on the shoulder’s of one or two men.

  2. Gia says:

    This is only the result & continuity of ignorance, stupidity & especially greed of the american people with the housing & banking industry blessing. There is no light at the end of the tunnel for this year.

  3. Christie 2012 says:

    Is this the new FORWARD we hear so much about.

  4. The Truth says:

    Florida Republican’s are hilarious. Good job numbers, thank you Gov. Scott! Bad job numbers, it’s all Obama’s fault!

  5. Cypress Grand says:

    There are still MANY JOBS in PALM COAST and all over this nation!!! People are not applying because they may not know:

    Go to this link:

  6. Outsider says:

    2012: The end of an error.

  7. Liana G says:

    Maybe if we had ended the wars four years ago as promised, the billions of dollars borrowed and wasted coud have be spent on infrastructure improvements and other investments producing returns. Instead we are now saddled with ever mounting enormous debts, an oversized gov’t, and incessent talks on increasing taxes from the already overburden taxpayer.

    “Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes … known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few.… No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.”

    — James Madison, Political Observations, 1795

  8. JC says:

    The numbers have been flawed since time began. The people who have exhausted, or who aren’t eligbile for unemployment are included in the numbers who are reported which makes the numbers far more inflated than what is being reported. We need to bring industry back to this country to create jobs!!!

  9. John Boy says:

    Vote all the Reich Wingers out of Office, save the Country from the Tea Baggers, Big Business, War Mongers and the Religious Bigots. In other word we’re tired of the angry, hateful and stupid Republican obstructionists.

  10. John Boy says:

    Meg Whitman just announced that she is cutting 27,000 high paying jobs at HP, the following day Mitt has a $250,000. per plated dinner campaign fund raiser with her. Nice going Mitt, your lying, cheating, stealing is getting beyond comprehension. Trump, Whitman, Sheldon Adelson, Bob Perry all in one week shows how out of touch and aligned with criminals you are..

  11. Johnny Taxpayer says:

    Damn right! I mean the $1trillion “invested” through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) just wasn’t enough, if only we could have “invested” $2 or $3 trillion everyone would have a job manufacturing windmills and solar panels!

  12. Dorothea says:

    @Linda H.

    Did you read those so-called Republican job bills? Not one of them produces jobs, but all remove protections that are in place to keep huge corporations from further ripping the average American off. Read Johnny Taxpayer’s comments. He is correct. Don’t buy into these so-called job creator claims, they will not produce jobs, they will just make the very rich, richer.

    How repellently disgusting it is to see Republicans cheering over an upward tick in the unemployment rate. An upward rate that could have been avoided had the Republicans supported their country over their party’s desire to defeat the president. I hope the voters see through this and vote against every Republican running in November so we can get our country’s economy back in order, and not support the Republican’s bloodless fascist coup. Voter suppression, a SCOTUS in the pocket of the ultra-right wing, and a few millionaire and billionaires getting all the breaks, while the rest of us get the shaft.

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