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U.S. unemployment for May 2010 edged down to 9.7%

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics issued its Employment Situation Summary for May yesterday, June 4. The total nonfarm payroll employment GREW by 431,000 in May, which reflects the hiring of 411,000 temporary employees to work on Census 2010. Employment in the private sector changed little (+41,000). The May unemployment rate edged down to 9.7%. The April unemployment rate in the U.S. was 9.9%. With the slight drop to 9.7%, the unemployment rate returns to the level it was for the first three months of 2010. Manufacturing, temporary help services, and mining added jobs, but construction employment declined.

The report states:

“Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate for blacks (15.5 percent) declined in May, while the rates for adult men (9.8 percent), adult women (8.1 percent), teenagers (26.4 percent), whites (8.8 percent), and Hispanics (12.4 percent) showed little change. The jobless rate for Asians was 7.5 percent, not seasonally adjusted.”

The number of unemployed persons was 15.0 million in May. The number of long-term unemployed (27 weeks or more) was largely unchanged, at 6.8 million. These people made up 46.0% of the unemployed, about the same as in April.

According to the report:

“The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) declined by 343,000 in May to 8.8 million. These individuals were working part-time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job.”

“About 2.2 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force in May, unchanged from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey.”

“Among the marginally attached, there were 1.1 million discouraged workers in May, up by 291,000 from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them. The remaining 1.1 million persons marginally attached to the labor force had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities.”

Different job categories were also examined in the report:

“Manufacturing employment increased by 29,000 over the month. Factory employment has risen by 126,000 over the past 5 months. Within manufacturing, both fabricated metals and machinery added jobs in May.

Temporary help services added 31,000 jobs over the month; employment in the industry has risen by 362,000 since September 2009.

Employment in mining continued to increase in May, with a gain of 10,000. Support activities for mining accounted for 8,000 of the over-the-month increase. Since October 2009, mining employment has expanded by 50,000.

Health care employment was little changed in May (+8,000). Over the prior 12 months, health care employment had increased by an average of 20,000 per month.

In May, employment in construction declined by 35,000, largely offsetting gains in the industry in the prior 2 months. May’s job loss was spread throughout the sector.

Employment in other private-sector industries, including wholesale trade, retail trade, transportation and warehousing, information, financial activities, and leisure and hospitality showed little or no change in May.

Government employment rose by 390,000 in May. The Federal government hired 411,000 temporary workers for Census 2010, bringing total temporary census staffing during the payroll survey reference period to 564,000. Employment in state government excluding education decreased by 13,000.”

Imagine what the employment situation would look like if so many companies had not sent so many American jobs offshore!

-Bill at

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