Economic Indicators | Jobs and Unemployment

News from EPI Absent temporary employment, no job growth in May

For Immediate Release: Friday, June 4th, 2010
Contact: Karen Conner or Eve Turow, news@epi.org 202-775-8810

The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ employment report for May does not paint a picture of self-sustained growth in the private sector: absent the census hires and private-sector temp worker hires there was essentially no net job creation. The report showed an increase of 431,000 payroll jobs and an unemployment rate of 9.7%, a 0.2 percentage-point decrease from April’s 9.9%. The vast majority of May’s new jobs (411,000, or 95%) were temporary Census jobs that will disappear over the summer. Adding a mere 41,000 jobs, the private sector saw slower growth than it had in the prior three months, when the average was 146,000 a month. This May’s modest gain in the private sector was a huge improvement over the loss of 334,000 private sector jobs in May 2009, but it is nowhere near a level that will put this country’s 15 million unemployed workers back to work anytime soon.

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