Economy continues to sputter along; only 175,000 jobs added in May
I was going to quote from the New York Times article on the May unemployment report, but reading it, you would think that everything is just peachy and only going to get better.
Oh heck, just for fun, here's an example of what I mean:
In a New York Times/CBS News poll conducted May 31 to June 4, 39 percent of respondents said that the condition of the economy was very or fairly good, the highest share saying this since President Obama took office and even since the recession officially began in December 2007.
Nearly half of respondents - 46 percent -- rated the job market in their area as very or fairly good, with a third saying that they think their local job markets will improve over the next year. (The poll has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points.)
Um - what about the number of people who rate the economy as "poor or very poor"? I thought so.
For the record, it's 60% who think the economy is "bad."
Here's a fairly straightforward account from Reuters:
The United States added 175,000 jobs last month, just above the median forecast in a Reuters poll, Labor Department data showed on Friday.
The unemployment rate ticked a tenth of a percentage point higher to 7.6 percent, with the increase actually giving a relatively hopeful sign as it was driven by more workers entering the labor force.
Still, after a winter in which the economy seemed to be turning a corner, May was the third straight month that payrolls outside the farm sector increased by less than 200,000.
That could heighten concerns government austerity this year is sapping vigor from the economy, and might dampen speculation the Fed might soon trim bond purchases aimed at lowering interest rates and boosting employment.
"The labor market may not be as strong as we thought," Kevin Cummins, an economist at UBS in Stamford, Connecticut, said ahead of the data's release.
Officials at the U.S. central bank have intimated they could be close to reducing bond purchases despite modest economic growth, which is not expected to pick up until late in the year when the sting from government spending cuts begins to fade.
Budget cuts have led to hiring freezes at many government agencies, and attrition could be slowly reducing payrolls. Government payrolls declined by 3,000 in May.
About 4.4 million Americans have been unemployed for more than six months, roughly 3 million more than pre-recession levels. The longer workers are out of a job, the greater the risk they become essentially unemployable. That could deal lasting damage to the economy and has lent urgency to the Fed's efforts to stimulate growth.
Still, May's pace of job growth is right around the average for the prior 12 months. Over that period, the jobless rate fell about half a percentage point and the ranks of the long-term unemployed declined by about 1 million people.
"It's progress that's too slow, but it's progress nonetheless," Guy Berger, an economist at RBS, also in Stamford, said before the data was released.
So the weakest jobs recovery in history continues. Calls for the Federal Reserve to continue their Quantitative Easing program will also continue as the Fed throws more bad money after really bad money.
And the 60% of Americans who think the economy is bad continue to have no voice at the New York Times.