The private sector of the US Economy added only 20,000 non-farm jobs in May, an anemic showing that raises both doubts about the strength of economic recovery and the specter of a double-dip recession.
The 2010 Census showed an increase in 411,000 workers, a number which reports of statistic fixing throws into serious doubt. Revised statistics show less jobs having been added in March than had been previously thought.
Economists had expected about 105,000 more non-Census jobs in May. May was the peak of Census hiring. Those workers will gradually return to the ranks of the unemployed in the coming months.
The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for March was revised from +230,000 to +208,000, while the change for April remained at +290,000.
The report, widely seen to be a disaster for the American economy, caused stock market futures to tank and European markets to dive. While the Unemployment Rate fell by 0.2%, that was because discouraged workers stopped searching for non-existent jobs.
The unemployment rate fell to a seasonally adjusted 9.7% in May from 9.9% in April, according to a separate survey of 60,000 households. Economists were expecting the jobless rate to sink to 9.8%.
The decline wasn’t particularly good news, however, because the drop was due to 322,000 people dropping out of the labor force. While unemployment dropped by 287,000 to 15 million, employment also fell, dipping 35,000 to 139.4 million.
The participation rate dropped by two tenths to 65%.
An alternative measure of unemployment, which includes discouraged workers and those forced to work part-time because of the weak economy, fell to 16.6% from 17.1%.
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TaggedEconomy, Recession, Unemployment
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