May unemployment up to 9.1%

Expecting gains of 170,000 jobs in May, economists woke up to the news this morning that the unemployment rate had ticked up to 9.1% with only 54,000 jobs being added to the rolls.

New York Times:

The Labor Department reported on Friday that the United States added 54,000 nonfarm payroll jobs last month, following an increase of 232,000 jobs in April. May's job gain was about a third of what economists had been forecasting.

The unemployment rate ticked up to 9.1 percent from 9.0 percent in April.

"Living here in Washington, in the past few weeks there has been all this talk about deficits and the debt ceiling as though that were the biggest problem right now," said Heather Boushey, a senior economist at the Center for American Progress, a liberal research organization. "My fervent hope is that this shocks policy makers into realizing the most urgent problem in front of us right now is jobs."

The gentleman is right but I doubt we would agree with his solution - a bigger, better, more wasteful stimulus bill. He is ignoring the $1.4 trillion dollar elephant in the room - the federal deficit - which almost certainly is contributing to the drag on employment as the productive sector of the economy wonders about the future.

There is no certainty, no predictability right now which causes good businesspeople to become cautious. The economic indicators have been such the last 2 quarters that anyone who is in business now and wants to stay in business, is taking a wait and see attitude, hoping for improvement but not willing to get out in front of any wave of prosperity that might be headed our way.

Don't expect the administration to understand this since none of them have any real business experience. We will probably continue to see these wild swings of job creation for the foreseeable future from month to month because some areas like the southwest are doing much better than others.

Meanwhile, the number of discouraged workers grows and Washington fiddles with the debt ceiling in an attempt to impose some discipline on themselves in order to get the deficit under control.


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