Friday, June 05, 2009

Employment Report: 345K Jobs Lost, 9.4% Unemployment Rate

by Bill McBride on 6/05/2009 08:30:00 AM

From the BLS:

Nonfarm payroll employment fell by 345,000 in May, about half the average monthly decline for the prior 6 months, the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor reported today. The unemployment rate continued to rise, increasing from 8.9 to 9.4 percent.

Steep job losses continued in manufacturing, while declines moderated in construction and several service-providing industries.
Employment Measures and Recessions Click on graph for larger image.

This graph shows the unemployment rate and the year over year change in employment vs. recessions.

Nonfarm payrolls decreased by 345,000 in May. The economy has lost almost 3.6 million jobs over the last 6 months, and over 6 million jobs during the 17 consecutive months of job losses.

The unemployment rate rose to 9.4 percent; the highest level since 1983.

Year over year employment is strongly negative (there were 5.4 million fewer Americans employed in May 2009 than in May 2008).

Percent Job Losses During Recessions The second graph shows the job losses from the start of the employment recession, in percentage terms (as opposed to the number of jobs lost).

For the current recession, employment peaked in December 2007, and this recession was a slow starter (in terms of job losses and declines in GDP).

However job losses have really picked up over the last 8 months (4.6 million jobs lost, red line cliff diving on the graph), and the current recession is now one of the worst recessions since WWII in percentage terms - although not in terms of the unemployment rate.

This is another weak employment report ... more soon.

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