Friday, June 04, 2010

Initial jobless claims stuck so far this year

Initial jobless claims numbers seem to be stuck this year, but they're still much better than a year ago. This graph shows the year-over-year percentage change over the past five years (lower is better).

Today's payroll numbers are expected to show lots of new jobs were created in May. The payroll data probably will have been released by the time you read this (assuming you read this blog at work).

Update: It turns out that the numbers were not nearly 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 official unemployment rate:

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