Friday, June 01, 2012

May Employment Report: 69,000 Jobs, 8.2% Unemployment Rate

by Bill McBride on 6/01/2012 08:30:00 AM

From the BLS:

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.
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.
The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for March was revised from +154,000 to +143,000, and the change for April was revised from +115,000 to +77,000.
Payroll jobs added per month Click on graph for larger image.

This was a weak month, and the previous two months were revised down.

This was below expectations of 150,000 payroll jobs added.

The second graph shows the employment population ratio, the participation rate, and the unemployment rate. The unemployment rate increased to 8.2% (red line).

Employment Pop Ratio, participation and unemployment ratesThe Labor Force Participation Rate increased to 63.8% 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 recent decline is due to demographics.

The Employment-Population ratio increased to 58.6% in May from 58.4% in April (black line).

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

This shows the depth of the recent employment recession - worse than any other post-war recession - and the relatively slow recovery due to the lingering effects of the housing bust and financial crisis.

This was weaker payroll growth than expected (expected was 150,000). More later ...

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