Friday, June 03, 2011

May Employment Report: 54,000 Jobs, 9.1% Unemployment Rate

by Bill McBride on 6/03/2011 08:30:00 AM

From the BLS:

Nonfarm payroll employment changed little (+54,000) in May, and the unemployment rate was essentially unchanged at 9.1 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Job gains continued in professional and business services, health care, and mining. Employment levels in other major private-sector industries were little changed, and local government employment continued to decline.
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The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for March was revised from +221,000 to +194,000, and the change for April was revised from +244,000 to +232,000.
The following graph shows the employment population ratio, the participation rate, and the unemployment rate.

Employment Pop Ratio, participation and unemployment rates Click on graph for larger image in graph gallery.

The unemployment rate increased to 9.1% (red line).

The Labor Force Participation Rate was unchanged at 64.2% in May (blue line). This is the percentage of the working age population in the labor force. The participation rate is well below the 66% to 67% rate that was normal over the last 20 years, although some of the decline is due to the aging population.

The Employment-Population ratio was unchanged at 58.4% in May (black line).

Percent Job Losses During Recessions The second graph shows the job losses from the start of the employment recession, in percentage terms aligned at maximum job losses. The dotted line is ex-Census hiring.

The current employment recession is by far the worst recession since WWII in percentage terms, and 2nd worst in terms of the unemployment rate (only the early '80s recession with a peak of 10.8 percent was worse).

This was well below expectations for payroll jobs, and the unemployment rate was higher than expected (both worse). I'll have much more soon ...

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