Unemployment rate rises to 8.2%
As a follow up to the post below, another indication of how anemic our recovery is can be found in the “official” unemployment numbers. This week it rose .1% to 8.2%. I don’t have to belabor the fact that the number is a real lowball of the true unemployment rate. Suffice it to say, regardless of the number, the trend this month has been to the negative:
The American jobs engine hit stall speed in May, with the economy adding just 69,000 new jobs while the unemployment rate climbed to 8.2 percent.
As another summertime swoon looms, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that job creation missed economist estimates for 158,000 new positions and the jobless rate rose for the first time in nearly a year.
Labor force participation remains near 30-year lows though incrementally better than last month, rising to 63.8 percent.
The unemployment rate that counts discouraged workers rose as well, swelling to 14.8 percent form 14.5 percent in April.
To put it succinctly, the employment picture sucks and doesn’t at all appear to be getting better. Last months 115,000 new jobs has been revised down to 77,000 . Couple all of that with what we see happening in the rest of the world and it paints a pretty bleak economic picture for at least the near future.
James Pethokoukis lays out some of that picture for you:
– 1Q GDP was revised down to 1.9% from 2.2%. The previous four GDP quarters of Obama recovery: 0.4%, 1.3%, 1.8%, 3.0%. Keep in mind that research from the Federal Reserve finds that that since 1947, when two-quarter annualized real GDP growth falls below 2 percent, recession follows within a year 48 percent of the time. (And when year-over-year real GDP growth falls below 2 percent, recession follows within a year 70 percent of the time.)
– Initial claims for state unemployment benefits rose 10,000 to a seasonally adjusted 383,000. Claims have now risen in seven of the past eight weeks. The four-week moving average for new claims increased 3,750 to 374,500.
– Job cuts jumped by 53% in May from April in the United States, according to a report by consultancy firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas. CNBC also notes that “employers announced plans to cut 61,887 staff from their payrolls in May, 67 percent more than in the same month of last year. The figure represents the most job cuts since last September.”
– The Rasmussen Consumer Index find that 59% think the U.S. is currently in a recession.
Politically, this isn’t at all good news for an incumbent President seeking another term. With 14.8 percent of the workforce out of work or “discouraged”, the conventional wisdom says they’re unlikely to think signing on for another 4 years of this is worth it. And the economy, at this moment, and under his leadership, is showing no indication the next 4 years will be any different than these past 4 years.
That’s just ground truth for all the wishful thinkers out there on the left.