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Job Creation in Big Stall, Unemployment Back Up to 9.1%, Recovery in Doubt

| June 3, 2011

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

The national economy added just 54,000 jobs in May, the lowest number in eight months, and one-third the number expected by economists. The unemployment rate edged back up a decimal point to 9.1 percent in the latest sign of a faltering recovery. The previous two months’ job-creation numbers were revised downward by 39,000. Manufacturing jobs, which were a big part of the recovery, are on the losing end again, with 5,000 such jobs lost last month, and manufacturing activity is at its lowest level since late 2009. The stock market has fallen nearly 3 percent in the last two days.

Earlier this week, housing prices hit a post-recession low in 20 major markets across the nation, bringing prices down to 2002 levels and darkening the outlook of any recovery soon in the housing sector. A large housing price drop alone, when broad enough, can trigger a recession.

Private-sector employers, who account for 70 percent of the workforce, added just 83,000 jobs in May, the smallest increase in a year. The gains were offset by a 29,000 drop in government jobs–the seventh monthly loss in a row–mostly at the state and local level.

Two indications of trouble ahead are in temporary jobs and the length of the workweek, neither of which grew in May, which means there’s not much economic activity compelling employers to add work. The average workweek remained at 34.4 hours.

In all, 13.9 million Americans are officially unemployed. But that’s an undercount: it represents only those who are actively looking for work. Another 2.2 million people are unemployed but not included in the official figure because they’re considered “marginally attached” to the labor force (ion the Labor Department’s words): they have not looked for work in the past four weeks.

Another reason why the unemployment rate masks deeper problems is that as unemployment benefits run out, people who still haven’t found work are, perversely, are no longer counted as unemployed. Much of the decline in the jobless rate in recent months was attributed to that factor according research from the Chicago Federal Reserve Bank published this week.

And the number of people employed part-time through no choice of their own–that is, people who want or need full-time work but can’t find it–is at 8.5 million. In essence, 25 million Americans are either unemployed or under-employed. That’s 16 percent of the labor force.

Sector by sector, employment in professional and business services increased by 44,000 jobs in May. Health care added 17,000 jobs. Mining added 7,000 jobs. Construction jobs were unchanged. The loss of 5,000 jobs in manufacturing was driven by losses in transportation equipment, paper and paper products, and printing and related support activities. Local government lost 28,000 jobs, for a total of 446,000 jobs lost at that level since September 2008.

Employment in retail, transportation and warehousing, information, financial activities, and leisure and hospitality (i.e. tourism), was flat in May.

Average hourly earnings for all private-sector employees increased by 6 cents, or 0.3 percent, to $22.98. Average hourly earnings for production and nonsupervisory employees rose by 6 cents, or 0.3 percent, to $19.43.

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11 Responses for “Job Creation in Big Stall, Unemployment Back Up to 9.1%, Recovery in Doubt”

  1. palmcoaster says:

    This sad situation will not be resolved until our President, tax imports, rewards corporations that reopen our manufacturing plants here, tax heavily items like as an example; Apple products, all manufactured in China by to be marketed here and as slavery is so profitable then AAPL shares are at all time high about $350/share. Have cruising lines that use heavily our ports for base and our provided costly infrastructure in&to those ports, to hire American workers and also pay the taxes they collect and don’t pay. Stop giving tax breaks to multinationals to settle overseas and/or others that extract our non renewable fossil fuels here to export for higher prices…while gouging us at the pump. Use those needed taxes to create, secure the still existent and bring back our industries/jobs lost to slavery. Stop these wars and instead bring our soldiers home investing these wars billions in jobs for our soldiers repairing our decaying infrastructure in our USA. 40 million people out of work do not buy, food, fuel, artifacts, cars and homes that in turn create jobs when manufactured here. Also they do not generate tax revenue while not working, from their income and payroll taxes so government budgets are pathetic short. Maybe we will all have to resolve and to stop buying these imports to help ourselves.!

  2. Jack Cowardin says:

    Could it be the system is broken? The model is muddled and government does not understand the dynamics of the marketplace, the global dynamics. We are creating a state of fear and fear mongering clouds objective reasoning, dissolves the ability to see a hopeful future. Never before has it seemed each of us are on our own, instead of being one of the integral parts of a new horizon. No one feels secure even though there is more security, more scrutiny, more distrust in a world beyond our front doors.

    Our economy has become a game of chance. Old school economics, ala the Fed and federal bailouts, without specific guidelines on how the money should have been used by the banks, is not viable, except for the banks, who will not lend it to the needy, only the plumb. One party wants zero federal intervention in the business arena, a laissez faire trip tic to greater wealth, for themselves. The other wears rose colored glasses making handouts and fueling military presence in the name of democracy– all with rubber checks resulting in unproductive and depressed mindsets. Meanwhile, Mother nature constantly shows her wrath further adding to our woes and insecurity. But she also unites us to help one another, defines what it means to be a fellow human being.

    Where are we heading down the road of blame? What are we showing our children that they will rescind? Is our legacy just in the evening news? Surely we can do better, surely we must see the edge of the abyss is the thin line at the base of the money mountain. We must awaken, work together not against, we must restore vision and scientific reason in building our tomorrow. Jobs? We have ten fold the work than the manpower. Have you seen our decaying cities, our traffic jams, the time we waist waiting to get on an over crowded plane, the unused farmland, the unused landscape that has the warmth of the earth inside, and the Sun that shines valuable energy freely? And we can’t create jobs to make a better world? Shame on all of us for the time we are waisting bickering. Let us hope our children have better sense and see this malaise as a turning point.

  3. Your child says:

    When we finally come into power, we will slash your entitlements and spit on your graves once your dead. We are tired of witnessing our future going down the drain so that politics can be played as usual.

    The baby boomers of this nation have been selfish, greedy, and have bankrupted this great nation for their own benefit and at our expense. Since when did the moral obligation to leave this world better for those following behind go out the window?

  4. palmcoaster says:

    No sufficient jobs creation and a give away of 1.2 billion forgiven to the Cerberus Private Equity Management/Chrysler stimulus debt. So far the AIG stimulus of 180 billion the largest given is most of it still pending refund…Then of course we are broke….These stimulus given under Bush in 2008.
    Hope no one else finds this data distorted , racist, vilifying.


    The baby boomers of thsi nation have not been selfish! we have been working our butts all our lives off to pay for our government’s programs and making our childrens’s lives better then ours…give me a break!

  6. Your child says:

    Prove it! 14 trillion dollar deficit, crumbling infrastructure, broken education system, spoiled natural environment, few job opportunities mostly at low pay, shall I continue…

  7. Justice for All says:

    To my child – grow up. Quit blaming others.. You’ll live longer, be healthier and realize how blessed you really are.. Go live your life. Volunteer. You will gain a new perspective on life.

  8. Your child says:

    Justice for All – Take off your rose colored glasses and take some accountability. Calling a spade a spade is hardly blame. It is easy to count your blessing when you have received much more than you have given and will be exiting this planet when it all hits the fan. You have enjoyed a robust economy, pay increases, and personal success based on the fact that trillions of dollars were being used to supplement the economy for decades. We can’t afford to do this any longer. The future generations wont have the ease and luxury of simply swiping the card when things get tough. We will actually have to begin paying back the debts created.

    Volunteer? Nice thought. If only I had the luxury of having the surplus time and money to volunteer. The fact is that volunteerism doesn’t pay and I cannot afford to spend my time and money to work for free. Volunteerism doesn’t pay the electricity bill, put food on the table for my kids, and pay the mortgage. You volunteer, I’ll take your job.

  9. Kyle Russell says:

    But.. but.. the generations before us really were the ones that caused all of this damage…

  10. Dorothea says:

    Just for the record, the economy was humming a little over a decade ago when we paid our fair share of taxes. There was also a recession during the Reagan administration which was corrected by raising taxes. Along comes the Norquist crowd, the tea baggers, George Bush, the long failed lower tax theorists and poof, there we go again into a major recession. The Republicans in Congress are still peddling the failed no tax increases and we are sinking further into a depression because these knot heads are blocking every possible way of raising revenues. After reading a few of these comments I can understand how they get away with it. Americans don’t seem to grasp our economic history and just resort to blaming each other, without any thought as to how we got into the mess in the first place and correcting it.

    As for blaming the retired generation, just keep in mind, this is the generation that is doing its best to keep Medicare intact for the generations that follow, even if they are not personally affected.

  11. palmcoaster says:

    This is why in spite of the current almost recession will be hard for Republicans to get elected in 2012.
    I remember the sweet decade of the 90’s, paying bills, buying food and gas and living an enjoyable life was a daily occurrence. We had plenty of jobs and hard earned greens in our pockets. Look at what we got from 2,000 to 2008 just misery. Finally GOP mismanaged our economy so bad that two years of a Democrat could not fix it yet!
    Here is the chart of the different Presidents and their effects in the unemployment figures;
    Below is a chart depicting the yearly data collected by the BLS since 1947 when the legal working age became 16. The date of each president’s final term along with their party affiliation is labeled. On top of the raw data chart is a sloppy trend line graph added to show the increases or decreases of unemployment during the entire incumbency of the president. For the trend graph the lines that are blue represent a democratic president and the red lines represent the republican presidents. Click on the image to enlarge it. Speaks for itself!

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