May jobs report: 217K jobs added, jobless rate steady at 6.3%

posted at 8:36 am on June 6, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

Despite the contraction in the first quarter GDP of a full percentage point, hiring stayed steady in May, according to the new BLS jobs report. The US economy added 217,000 new jobs, above the level needed for population growth but not much help for putting a dent into the numbers of the chronically unemployed:

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 217,000 in May, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 6.3 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment increased in professional and business services, health care and social assistance, food services and drinking places, and transportation and warehousing.

The unemployment rate held at 6.3 percent in May, following a decline of 0.4 percentage point in April. The number of unemployed persons was unchanged in May at 9.8 million. Over the year, the unemployment rate and the number of unemployed persons declined by 1.2 percentage points and 1.9 million, respectively. (See table A-1.) …

Among the unemployed, the number of job losers and persons who completed temporary jobs declined by 218,000 in May. The number of unemployed reentrants increased by 237,000 over the month, partially offsetting a large decrease in April. (Reentrants are persons who previously worked but were not in the labor force prior to beginning their current job search.) (See table A-11.)

The topline number came in right around the expectations of analysts prior to the ADP report on Wednesday, which actually undershot the official number by almost 40K. Expect media analysis to focus on expectations rather than the barely-above-stagnation level of job creation.

The uptick included a slight return to the labor force, but not enough to budge the civilian workforce participation rate from its generational lows of 62.8%. BLS notes in the report that this has dropped 0.6 points over the past year, but that’s actually understating the problem. Five years ago, when the so-called recovery started, that ration was 64.7%, which was itself in decline from the peak Bush-era number of 66.4% in 2006. We’ve had a sharp and so far unrecovered change that has millions sidelined, which is why a growth number of 217,000 isn’t much more than a maintenance result.

CNN’s Annalyn Kurtz notes that we have returned to the peak level of jobs in America, but puts that figure in the correct perspective of population growth:

The last time we were near this point was January 2008, just before massive layoffs swept throughout the country, leading the unemployment rate to spike to 10%. The unemployment rate is unchanged at 6.3%, and much has improved since the worst of the crisis.

Yet, this isn’t the moment to break out the champagne. Given population growth over the last four years, the economy still needs more jobs to truly return to a healthy place. How many more? A whopping 7 million, calculates Heidi Shierholz, an economist with the Economic Policy Institute.

At a rate of 217K per month with 150K needed to keep pace with population growth, how long will it take us to catch up to that 7 million?  Oh …. eight years and nine months.

In this case, it’s better to track U-6 rather than U-3, which takes into account more of the chronically unemployed. That dropped to 12.2%, which is the lowest it has been since October 2008. However, it was 8.0% in March 2007, and it looks like it’ll take most of those eight years to get back to that level at the pace we are on.

Update: Older readers will remember that the Bush economy got criticized (unfairly) for only creating low-wage “McJobs” while adding between 300-400K jobs a month. CNBC’s Jeff Cox notes that the “McJob” criticism is more applicable now:

Nonfarm payrolls continued to grow about in line with recent trends, rising 217,000 in May as the unemployment rate held steady at 6.3 percent, according to numbers released Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Most of the job gains came on lower-paying industries as wages rose modestly, increasing 5 cents an hour to maintain the modest 2.1 percent growth over the past 12 months. Average hours worked came in flat at 34.5. …

Professional and business services along with health led the way in May, with both sectors creating 55,000 new jobs. Hospitality—primarily bars and restaurants—grew by 32,000.

Manufacturing and construction, by contrast, were about flat. Labor force participation, a key metric that whose sharp decline has played a major role in the falling unemployment rate, remained flat at 62.8 percent, matching the worst level since March 1978.

 


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Sideways.

Mr. D on June 6, 2014 at 8:38 AM

Whatever. I don’t believe anything this government says.

forest on June 6, 2014 at 8:41 AM

Meh

Spin away lefties

cmsinaz on June 6, 2014 at 8:42 AM

What difference does it make?

right2bright on June 6, 2014 at 8:42 AM

I will wait for the real numbers…….

Electrongod on June 6, 2014 at 8:43 AM

More official lies…

PatriotRider on June 6, 2014 at 8:45 AM

Employment increased in professional and business services, health care and social assistance, food services and drinking places, and transportation and warehousing.

To put it simply, the nation hired more political consultants, senior-care aides, hamburger flippers, and barmen. Yeah, that’s Obama Recovery Summer alright.

Rix on June 6, 2014 at 8:46 AM

The Texas border is being overran.Most of South America is headed this way.The Rio Grande river bank looks like D-Day.

docflash on June 6, 2014 at 8:47 AM

Until the downward adjustment announced fright before next months ‘rosy’ Jobs Report.

socalcon on June 6, 2014 at 8:51 AM

To be unexpectedly revised downwards next month, say, July 3rd, right before a big 3 day weekend so no one is paying attention.

rbj on June 6, 2014 at 8:52 AM

At a rate of 217K per month with 150K needed to keep pace with population growth, how long will it take us to catch up to that 7 million?  Oh …. eight years and nine months.

In this case, it’s better to track U-6 rather than U-3, which takes into account more of the chronically unemployed. That dropped to 12.2%, which is the lowest it has been since October 2008. However, it was 8.0% in March 2007, and it looks like it’ll take most of those eight years to get back to that level at the pace we are on.

Ah, just like the Japanese… Welcome to Obama’s “Lost Decade”!

socalcon on June 6, 2014 at 8:57 AM

Unfortunately, the picture on this post is one that is being played out all across our nation. Four years ago at my nephew’s graduation this was still the norm and apparently it hasn’t gotten any better. It’s so heart breaking to see this sort of thing at graduations where there is a big dose of hope to go along with the accomplishment of finally graduating from college. It took my nephew almost 18 months to land a permanent job although he interned for this company right after he graduated. It took them that long to finally be able to hire on new people and get their finances in order because of the Obama administrations weird and unAmerican rules, regulations, meddling, and unethical ways of crushing the American economy.

And yet, here we are 4 years later with very few people aware that the systematic deconstruction of America is even going on. Most people are clueless. What has any of us done to make this better? There are many organizations that have stepped up to the plate and tried to get noticed, but Obama’s IRS rules have put the boot on the throats of these organizations to render them almost impossible and still there are very few cries in the night. So we sit and wait until Obama’s term is over??????? Is this the American Way? Is this the Republican Way? Really, is this what we want?

BetseyRoss on June 6, 2014 at 9:02 AM

Anyone who believes this to be anything other than more lousy news has been successfully indoctrinated into accepting a stagnant working environment, a sinking economic quagmire, and depression like economic dynamics overall as being normal, and just fine. For myself, I am doing as well as I can. I’m pretty much a hermit, living way out in the country and fending for myself, but the rest of y’all, trying to participate in this repulsive, immoral, greedy, gullible and ill informed cess pool you call American Society are to be pitied. Especially those fine people who know of and seek a return to the more traditional, sane, moral and self sufficient, productive America of previous generations. The Obama cartel has stripped it all away from you, and it seems no one has the cojones to do a damned thing about it. And that’s a doggone shame. And to think of all those great men who gave it all on this day, 70 years ago. Really too bad that their great sacrifice was apparently not worth it to their future generations to protect. Well, enough whining…I have to get ready to watch Preezy Dear Leader lecture me all about something he knows absolutely nothing about: The courage of a patriot and the brotherhood of the United States Military Member. I have my barf bags by my side and my hip waders at the ready.

bimmcorp on June 6, 2014 at 9:04 AM

Clearly you don’t understand, Our Beloved Leader, Lightbringer Obama says everything is wonderful. So who are you going to believe His Imperial Majesty Obama the First or your lying eyes?

clippermiami on June 6, 2014 at 9:04 AM

Just wondering, What’s the Unemployment Rate in Mexico?

Oh wait, they mentioned that in the article above or is the U.S. still considered a separate country for purposes of reporting?

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/jun/5/surge-in-kids-crossing-border-alone-strains-patrol/

The flood of young children pouring across the southwestern border is worse than the administration has previously acknowledged, and efforts to deal with unaccompanied minors are overwhelming the Border Patrol, distracting it from going after smugglers and other illegal immigrants, according to an internal draft memo from the agency.

The four-page memo, authored by Deputy Border Patrol Chief Ronald D. Vitiello and dated May 30, contradicts the administration’s argument that the border is secure enough to begin legalizing current illegal aliens already in the U.S.

http://newsok.com/illegal-immigrant-reports-in-central-america-encourage-trek-north/article/4888103

McALLEN – Central Americans say news reports in their countries are encouraging them to make the journey north to the United States.A mother and child told CHANNEL 5 NEWS that the message being disseminated in their country is, “go to America with your child, you won’t be turned away.”

Behold your new countrymen, and fellow JOBSEEKERS.

PappyD61 on June 6, 2014 at 9:08 AM

Thank the youth and the elderly for this “good” result. The seasonally-adjusted labor force participation rates (LFPR) and employment-population ratios (Emp-Pop) for each major age group are (respectively):

16-19 – 33.83% LFPR (+0.50 points from last month)/27.34% Emp-Pop (+0.46 points). Of note, the LFPR is still the third-lowest on record behind last month and January 2014.
20-24 – 71.00% LFPR (+0.79 points from last month)/63.12% Emp-Pop (+0.34 points).
25-54 – 80.79% LFPR (-0.03 points from last month)/76.37% Emp-Pop (-0.09 points).
55+ – 40.01% LFPR (+0.08 points from last month)/38.18% Emp-Pop (+0.12 points).

The War on the Prime Workforce continues unabated.

Steve Eggleston on June 6, 2014 at 9:15 AM

Slideways.

Mr. D on June 6, 2014 at 8:38 AM

You missed a “l”.

Steve Eggleston on June 6, 2014 at 9:16 AM

I will wait for the real numbers…….

Electrongod on June 6, 2014 at 8:43 AM

While you wait you should read the Sanskrit edition of War and Peace. Trust me you’ll have time.

Oldnuke on June 6, 2014 at 9:21 AM

Manufacturing and construction, by contrast, were about flat.

This tells you all that you need to know about any real growth in the economy. If/When we start seeing a significant increase in this stat line, actual real GDP growth will follow. Until then we are losing ground.

I mean when the DOW celebrates and hits record highs just because the European Bank raised bond rates from -0.1 to 0.0, we have some serious fundamental market problems.

Johnnyreb on June 6, 2014 at 9:21 AM

Thank the youth and the elderly for this “good” result.

The War on the Prime Workforce continues unabated.

Steve Eggleston on June 6, 2014 at 9:15 AM

Simply more yutes and elderly working at Mickey D’s…

Thank you Obama…you are Da Man…

PatriotRider on June 6, 2014 at 9:25 AM

Just wondering, What’s the Unemployment Rate in Mexico?

PappyD61 on June 6, 2014 at 9:08 AM

4.84% as of April among the 58.50% of those 14 and older who are part of workforce.

Steve Eggleston on June 6, 2014 at 9:32 AM

PappyD61 on June 6, 2014 at 9:08 AM

4.84% as of April among the 58.50% of those 14 and older who are part of workforce.

Steve Eggleston on June 6, 2014 at 9:32 AM

Great… Mexico has a lower unemployment rate than America… that ought to make Obama proud…

oscarwilde on June 6, 2014 at 9:42 AM

Right, steady at 6.3%….

Hogwash. Poppycock. Horsefeathers. Bullhockey. Baracksense.

Check the US Dept of Labor measures of unemployment. The most accurate one, the U6, lists May 14 unemployment at 12.2%.

The ignorant clown car full of dunces purportedly running our country are in full “pantalones en fuego” mode.

GrassMudHorsey on June 6, 2014 at 9:43 AM

Sideways.

Mr. D on June 6, 2014 at 8:38 AM

I don’t trust any of the numbers coming out of the Obama Lie-house, so it’s probable that “sideways” is the best they could realistically fudge the numbers for the low-info voters without risking ridicule, even from their sycophants in the press.

DRayRaven on June 6, 2014 at 9:43 AM

CNBC’s Jeff Cox notes that the “McJob” criticism is more applicable now

Projection has always been strong with the left wing.

Fallon on June 6, 2014 at 9:50 AM

Flashback Friday…

In one month, September of 1983, the Reagan Recovery created 1,114 MILLION jobs.

Fallon on June 6, 2014 at 9:53 AM

Great… Mexico has a lower unemployment rate than America… that ought to make Obama proud…

oscarwilde on June 6, 2014 at 9:42 AM

Teh SCOAMT is aiming for Mexico’s participation rate, not its unemployment number.

An important note on Mexico’s unemployment number/participation rate combo (beyond the fact that Mexico counts 14- and 15-year-olds while the US does not) – it is impossible for the US to achieve that low participation rate number without reducing the number of employed.

Steve Eggleston on June 6, 2014 at 9:55 AM

Where’s libfree? Oh, yeah. In a more recent thread complaining about the nonexistence of this one.

CurtZHP on June 6, 2014 at 10:07 AM

40
Jobs Bills Stuck In The Senate

House Republicans have passed 40 jobs bills that are currently stuck in the Democrat controlled Senate.
==================================

http://majorityleader.gov/JobsTracker/

canopfor on June 6, 2014 at 10:13 AM

canopfor on June 6, 2014 at 10:16 AM

Mark Knoller @markknoller · 1m

On unemployment report, @SpeakerBoehner says “economy can and should be doing a lot better, and we have a long way to go…”

canopfor on June 6, 2014 at 10:16 AM

It took my nephew almost 18 months to land a permanent job although he interned for this company right after he graduated. It took them that long to finally be able to hire on new people and get their finances in order because of the Obama administrations weird and unAmerican rules, regulations, meddling, and unethical ways of crushing the American economy.

And yet, here we are 4 years later with very few people aware that the systematic deconstruction of America is even going on.

Have conservatives been under the impression that a college degree guarantees you a *right* to a job or something. Your nephew got a gig, quit yer belly aching.

libfreeordie on June 6, 2014 at 10:16 AM

This number, just like every other number about unemployment is complete BS and the jobs added will “unexpectedly” be revised DOWN next month.

This Regime is incapable of anything other than lying to the nation.

Meople on June 6, 2014 at 10:21 AM

You missed a “l”.

Steve Eggleston on June 6, 2014 at 9:16 AM

I accept your edit.

Mr. D on June 6, 2014 at 10:23 AM

Jobless rate REMAINS at 6.3% !?!??? Well then, Happy Days are here again. I expect the use of Food Stamps will be contracting any day now.

lel2007 on June 6, 2014 at 10:24 AM

Move away. Nothing to see here.

Makes you realize what lies statistics can create.

COgirl on June 6, 2014 at 10:30 AM

It’s holding steady, alright.

At about 22%.

formwiz on June 6, 2014 at 10:55 AM

*cough* U6 *cough*

Newtie and the Beauty on June 6, 2014 at 11:03 AM

*cough* U3 *cough*

Newtie and the Beauty on June 6, 2014 at 11:05 AM

*cough* U6 *cough*

Newtie and the Beauty on June 6, 2014 at 11:03 AM

*cough* U3 *cough*

Newtie and the Beauty on June 6, 2014 at 11:05 AM

*cough* FRAUD *cough*

Meople on June 6, 2014 at 11:12 AM

Jobs Report Shows Strong Hiring Trend

Employers hired steadily in May, placing the U.S. on the one of the best four-month stretches of job creation since the late 1990s and renewing optimism about the five-year-long recovery.

This is headline at Wall Street Journal. Anyone wondering why I cancelled my subscription to that rag in 2010, after having had a sub since 1985?

They must have missed the 2000′s where 300-330k job growth during was derided as a “jobless recovery” by Nancy Pelosi and was repeated ad nauseum by the sycophantic press.

MistyLane on June 6, 2014 at 11:16 AM

6.3%…. Hahahahaha! Good one!

KMC1 on June 6, 2014 at 12:00 PM

Since I did this particular calculation last year, I figure it is only proper to once again calculate what the labor-force participation rate would have been had each 5-year age group particpated as they did in May 2008 (with the younger generations picking up the pace to bring the 60-64 year olds, 70-74 year olds and 75+ year olds down to 100.0% participation. In short, instead of an unadjusted LFPR of 62.9% (the worst May since 1979), it would have been 64.5% (the worst May since 1984), with a seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate at 8.6% instead of 6.3%.

Just as a reminder, the unemployment rate in May 2008 was 5.4%.

Obama and his Presstorian Guard – Business Division thank you in the under-60 crowd who gave up on work.

Steve Eggleston on June 6, 2014 at 12:21 PM

…bullshit!

KOOLAID2 on June 6, 2014 at 12:46 PM

In one month, September of 1983, the Reagan Recovery created 1,114 MILLION jobs.
Fallon on June 6, 2014 at 9:53 AM

1 TRILLION jobs created in one month?
Must be Pelosi math….

dentarthurdent on June 6, 2014 at 1:17 PM

In one month, September of 1983, the Reagan Recovery created 1,114 MILLION jobs.
Fallon on June 6, 2014 at 9:53 AM

1 TRILLION jobs created in one month?
Must be Pelosi math….

dentarthurdent on June 6, 2014 at 1:17 PM

I mean 1 Billion….
Hard to do math by Friday…..

dentarthurdent on June 6, 2014 at 1:18 PM

This is what happens when The People are under constant attack from their own Government.
Take a good look around and enjoy the new “normal”.
Just ask Europe.

Pelosi Schmelosi on June 6, 2014 at 1:20 PM

Under President Bush with a Republican House & Senate (Jan 2001 – Dec 2006) the Employment-Population Ratio NEVER went below 62%, even in the wake of the Dot Com Bust and the 9/11/2001 attacks.

For 72 straight months of GOP majorities, the E-P Ratio NEVER went below 62%.

On January 3, 2007, Obama and his Democrat peers took majority control of the House and Senate. Since then, we have now gone:
69 straight months below 62%,
65 straight months below 61%,
63 straight months below 60%, and
57 straight months below 59%.

Number of months of below 62% employment under 1995-2006 GOP majorities:
ZERO
Number of months of below 62% employment under 2007-2014 DEM majorities:
69 straight months and counting…

(Current: 58.9%, a LONG way away from 62% employment!)

The worst month under Bush was better than the best month under Obama!

ITguy on June 6, 2014 at 1:38 PM

May jobs report: 217K jobs added, jobless rate steady at 6.3%

“Thank you , President Obama!”

To be unexpectedly revised downwards next month, say, July 3rd, right before a big 3 day weekend so no one is paying attention.

rbj on June 6, 2014 at 8:52 AM

For last month they were revised from 300 up to 304K. Odd, but I don’t ever recall seeing any of these numbers based upon better data being revised down for the previous month?

U.S. jobless claims rise 8,000 to 312,000

I don’t know what those guys at Marketwatch are on, but I’ve been noting consistent layoffs, plant closings, state and municipal layoffs, and store closings for years and years now. Source Interlink (magazines, etc.) just laid off 6000 employees nationally, and what may be viewed as solid companies like Siemens is laying off another 12,000 globally, and Barclays laying off 19,000 jobs over the next few years…and I doubt those are McJobs.

Dr. ZhivBlago on June 6, 2014 at 2:29 PM

Flashback Friday…

In one month, September of 1983, the Reagan Recovery created 1,114 MILLION jobs.

Fallon on June 6, 2014 at 9:53 AM

It is useless to attempt to discuss anything with the radical leftists who are today’s “mainstream” Democrats. They are filled with hate for America and her traditions, her military and its concept of honor, and the idea of opportunity.

They prefer to control goods and services so they can dole them out to their cronies and constituencies for behavior control – that their system means less goods overall is viewed as a feature, not a bug: it gives their control over scarce goods even more power.

We need to close whole agencies, whole departments, and prosecute the union scum who faked wait time reports and received bonuses for their “improvements.” Then IRS, BLM, HUD, and pretty much the entire staff at EPA should follow out the door.

Adjoran on June 6, 2014 at 3:19 PM

Compare Average Weeks Unemployed (http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS13008275) under Bush vs. under Obama.

ITguy on June 6, 2014 at 4:01 PM