Marketwatch: Job growth decelerated sharply in May, the Labor Department said Friday. Total nonfarm payrolls increased by 54,000, much lower than the 125,000 gain expected by Wall Street economists. This is the smallest increase in nonfarm payroll since September. The unemployment rate ticked higher 9.1% in May from 9.0% in the previous month.
Don’t panic – remember this from yesterday:
National Journal: …Wall Street analysts are fairly united in their view that the recovery has entered a “soft patch,” just like it did last year, and that sooner or later, growth and job-creation are on track to pick up again. Several analysts and columnists have been reminding Americans that recoveries from financial crises can often feel like stop-and-go traffic on the freeway … Gault, and several other top analysts, expect growth to accelerate in the third quarter….
Full article here
I just saw Robert Shrum’s article from yesterday – even more appropriate today:
Robert Shrum: Nationally and globally, the economy is at a tipping point. The GOP, driven by invincible ignorance or cynical design – and perhaps both – is working overtime to trash the recovery with budget cuts that would drain demand from the economy – or a debt ceiling vote that could trigger a financial collapse equal to 2008, or perhaps unpredictably graver.
For proof, all you had to do was listen to Mitt Romney’s announcement speech. In it, he made a smarmy attempt to blame Barack Obama for the economic pain actually caused by the dereliction of duty by George W. Bush & Co., pain that was then prolonged by the obstruction of congressional Republicans. Those legislators contrived successfully to limit the stimulus package, block a second one, and forthwith blame the stimulus that saved us from another Great Depression for the slow climb out of the Great Recession. Never, of course, did they mention that the America’s deep deficits were generated by the fraudulent Bush war in Iraq and the unfair Bush tax cuts, which were founded on the false premise that they would pay for themselves.
…And now the GOP that has moved decidedly to the right of Bush would compound his errors. Congressional Republicans could shatter the restored credibility of the United States by refusing to protect its full faith and credit by raising the national debt ceiling or by holding that essential measure hostage to the repeal of the New Deal – something that never even occurred to Ronald Reagan or either Bush president. In those Oval Offices, they regularly signed debt-ceiling increases….
…the Republicans’ strategy on the budget and the debt ceiling can be seen, accurately, as rolling the dice with the American economy, gambling that it will crap out to their political advantage….
Full article here
CEA Chairman Austan Goolsbee: “Today’s employment report shows that private sector payrolls increased by 83,000 in May and the unemployment rate ticked up to 9.1 percent. There are always bumps on the road to recovery, but the overall trajectory of the economy has improved dramatically over the past two years.
While the private sector has added more than 2.1 million jobs over the past 15 months, the unemployment rate is unacceptably high and faster growth is needed to replace the jobs lost in the downturn.
The initiatives put in place by this Administration – such as the payroll tax cut and business incentives for investment – have contributed to solid employment growth overall this year, but this report is a reminder of the challenges that remain. We are focused on promoting exports, reducing regulatory burdens and making the investments in education, research and development, and infrastructure that will grow our economy and create jobs. We will continue to work with Congress to responsibly reduce the deficit and live within our means.
Overall payroll employment rose by 54,000 in May. Solid employment increases occurred in professional and business services (+44,000) and education and health services (+34,000). Sectors with employment declines included local government (-28,000), retail trade (-8,500), and manufacturing (-5,000). Despite the decline this month, manufacturing has added 238,000 jobs since the beginning of 2010, the best period of manufacturing job growth in over a decade.
The monthly employment and unemployment numbers are volatile and employment estimates are subject to substantial revision. Therefore, as the Administration always stresses, it is important not to read too much into any one monthly report.