Friday, June 3, 2011

May Employment: Where are the Flowers

looks like no "green shoots" this spring....

The May employment situation report from the BLS confirms the impression from other bits of data (see Gavyn Davies and David Leonhardt from last week) that the already sluggish recovery is wobbling.  Payroll employment (from the BLS survey of firms) rose by 54,000, which is quite a bit less than the 130,000 or so needed to keep unemployment steady as the labor force grows and productivity increases.  The unemployment rate (from the survey of households), ticked up to 9.1% (from 9% in April). 
 The underlying numbers in the household survey (which gets second billing because it has a smaller sample) are slightly less unpleasant.  The number of people employed increased by 105,000, while the number of unemployed increased by 167,000.  This partly reflects re-entry into the labor force, 105,000 fewer people reported not being in the labor force, and the labor force participation rate ticked up from 64.15 to 64.22.

Mark Thoma has collected links to commentary on the report from around the econo-blogosphere.

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