Friday, June 4, 2010

Economy continues to slowly improve

The economy continues to slowly improve, but today's payroll numbers were not as good as expected:
A flood of temporary Census workers in May led to the biggest jump in jobs in ten years, the government reported Friday.

Employers added 431,000 jobs in the month, up from 290,000 jobs added in April. It was the biggest gain in jobs since March 2000.

But Census hiring was responsible for 411,000 of May's increase in employment. Private sector employers also added 41,000 jobs in the period, well below the 218,000 private sector job gains in April. Government payrolls other than Census declined by 21,000 jobs in May, due largely to job cuts by state and local governments.

It was a disappointing number for private sector hiring, as economists surveyed by had forecast an overall gain of 500,000 in May. U.S. stocks traded sharply lower on the report, with the Dow Jones industrial average down more than 200 points in midday trading. ...

Despite the spike in hiring, the unemployment rate declined only modestly, to 9.7% from 9.9% in April. Economists had forecast it would decline to 9.8%.
Here is the year-over-year percentage change in payrolls:

Here is the year-over-year percentage change in aggregate weekly hours worked:

Here is the year-over-year percentage change in initial jobless claims:

Here is the official unemployment rate:

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