Disappointing 69,000 jobs added in May

Ben Bernanke

Finding a way to lower the unemployment rate, according to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, is "the central question that we have who look at.” Image" Medill DC/Flickr/CC BY

The latest state jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, released Thursday, continues to show a slow and uneven growth in the economy.

Job gains/losses by state

The state-by-state analysis for May saw increased payrolls in 27 U.S. states. However, 14 other states and D.C. recorded payroll declines. Eighteen others remained steady from the previous month. The unemployment rate also rose in 18 states. The national unemployment rate remains unchanged at 8.2 percent.

California moved up, leading the country in payroll gains. The state added 33,900 jobs in May. However, it still had the third highest jobless rate in the nation, at 10.8 percent.

Ohio had the second highest jobs increase, with 19,600 jobs added to its economy. Ohio’s unemployment rate was below the national average at 7.3 percent.

New Jersey also stepped up, showing its largest job gains in over seven years. More than 17,500 jobs were added to the state, making it the third largest gains in the nation for May. It’s unemployment rate also rose to 9.2 percent, however.

Dwindling job growth

While gains were seen regionally, overall, May saw the fewest job increases in a year.

Bricklin Dwyer, an economist at BNP Paribas in New York, said:

“The underlying pace of employment growth has softened.”

Economists say more hiring is necessary in order to escalate the consumer spending needed to grow the economy more quickly. Consumer spending drives 70 percent of the economy, experts say.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said last week:

“Will there be enough growth going forward to make material progress on the unemployment rate? That’s the essential decision and the central question that we have who look at.”

Across the nation, 69,000 jobs were added in May, down from the revised 77,000 recorded in April.

Disproportionate unemployment figures

The largest jump in the jobless rate was seen in South Carolina. It went up by .3 percent, to 9.1 percent, in May. Michigan was next, rising from 8.3 percent to 8.5 percent.

The greatest drop in jobless numbers was posted by Massachusetts, shedding .3 percent from April’s 6.3 percent rate. The next largest jobless decline was seen in North Carolina, followed by Pennsylvania and Maryland

The highest unemployment rate in the nation was posted in Nevada, at 11.6 percent. However, that is a decrease from the 11.7 percent recorded for the previous month. Rhode Island followed, with an 11 percent jobless rate.

The lowest unemployment rate, for the third consecutive month, was North Dakota at an impressive 3 percent.

Federal Open Market Committee

Thursday’s report will almost certainly surely play in to the two-day meeting of the The Federal Open Market Committee, scheduled to begin on June 19. The group, which sets central bank policy, is sure to discuss weakening job growth as well as the economic turmoil in Europe.


Washington Times
Bureau of Labor Statistics

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