June 4, 2010
Today, June 4, 2010, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released their May Employment Report. At first glance, the news appeared to be positive, with the addition of 431,000 new jobs. However, of those 431,000 new employees, 412,000 were hired on to be temporary government census workers. In other words, 96 percent of last month's job growth will be eliminated in just a few weeks.
- Economists estimate that nearly 125,000 new jobs per month need to be created just to keep the unemployment rate flat. While the unemployment rate did drop from 9.9 percent in April to 9.7 percent for the month of May, removing the temporary government census numbers would show a much different situation, with the unemployment rate likely increasing rather than decreasing.
- In addition, while the recent drop in the unemployment rate from 9.9 percent to 9.7 percent is good news, it is rather deceiving. A fraction of the decline can be attributed to the temporary hiring of census workers, however, much of the decline is the result of 322,000 people dropping out of the labor force in May-individuals who have become discouraged and have stopped looking for employment.
- Since the beginning of the recession in 2008, the private sector has lost nearly 8 million jobs, whereas the government has gained 656,000-many of these being temporary census jobs.
- After spending $1.2 trillion on a so-called "stimulus", and seeing moderate growth in jobs the past few months, this recent report is once again discouraging. The total new jobs added in May to the private sector are the lowest increase in four months.
Democrats may cite the skewed jobs report numbers as evidence that their economic policies are working, but a closer look at the data reveals the shallowness of such claim.
For additional information, contact:
The House Republican Conference Policy Office