The latest jobs report is not as good as expected

Soup Kitchen

We're a long way from soup kitchens and bread lines, but we aren't out of the woods yet. Image from Wikimedia Commons.

Fingers have been crossed, prayers offered and hands have been wrung waiting for an increase in the number of jobs. Unfortunately, the May jobs report has not revealed a huge increase in the number of jobs available.  This is not to say that there was no improvement, but the improvement was less than anticipated, which caused ripples in the stock market. Fewer than 50,000 non-farming private sector jobs were added, and the biggest job growth over the last couple of months appears to be for the U.S. Census.

Jobs report shows slower growth

The May jobs report by the Department of Labor does have some reason for hope.  That said, it also would seem that the currently high unemployment rate will have to be addressed via attrition.  According to Forbes, the May jobs report showed a gain of 431,000 total jobs. Most were seasonal employment. Of those, 411,000 were jobs with the U.S. Census, which means an increase in unemployment is due in June when Census jobs end.

Private sector slumps

The private sector did not fare well.  Only 41,000 jobs were added overall in non-farming private sector jobs, which is down from 218,000 from the April jobs report.  It’s the lowest month since January for private sector hiring, so it would appear that the rebuilding of the workforce is going to be a slow climb.  On the plus side, however, the unemployment rate dropped to 9.7 percent from 9.9 percent last month.

Stock markets slide

This spring has been a turbulent time for the stock markets. On the heels of the news that job growth had been slower than anticipated, combined with the European debt crisis, the Dow Jones and NASDAQ indexes both slid 1.9 percent, and the S&P 500 lost 2 percent in trading, according to CNN Money.  It would appear that the rebound is taking longer than predicted, both in the stock markets and in the job market.

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