Jobless Rate Ticks Up To 9.1 Percent; Only 54,000 Jobs Added : The Two-Way The news is weaker than had been expected.
NPR logo Jobless Rate Ticks Up To 9.1 Percent; Only 54,000 Jobs Added

Jobless Rate Ticks Up To 9.1 Percent; Only 54,000 Jobs Added

The May employment report was weaker than expected.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

-- The unemployment rate edged up to 9.1 percent from 9.0 percent in April. It had been expected to hold steady or perhaps even edge down a tenth of a point.

-- There were only 54,000 jobs added to businesses' and government payrolls, well below the 150,000 or so that had been forecast and nowhere near the pace needed to reduce unemployment.

We'll be adding more from the report in a few minutes.

Update at 9:40 a.m. ET. White House And GOP Comments:

Austan Goolsbee, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, says in statement that "there are always bumps on the road to recovery, but the overall trajectory of the economy has improved dramatically over the past two years." And he notes that "while the private sector has added more than 2.1 million jobs over the past 15 months, the unemployment rate is unacceptably high and faster growth is needed to replace the jobs lost in the downturn."

Goolsbee added that "the monthly employment and unemployment numbers are volatile and employment estimates are subject to substantial revision. Therefore, as the Administration always stresses, it is important not to read too much into any one monthly report."

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) has posted this statement:

"Our economy is not creating enough jobs, and Democrats' binge of taxing, spending, borrowing and over-regulating is a big part of the reason why. This week House Republicans met with President Obama and urged him to change course and work with us to enact the plan for jobs and economic growth we have put forth. We hope the president will take us up on that invitation. We cannot solve our debt crisis without economic growth — and we will not have economic growth if we raise taxes on job creators and refuse to stop spending money we don't have."

Update at 8:55 a.m. ET. Market Reaction:

Trading doesn't start on Wall Street until 9:30 a.m. ET, but The Associated Press notes that "stock futures plunged after the report was released" — a signal that the market could head south.

Update at 8:45 a.m. ET. The Long-Term Unemployed And "Marginally Attached":

According to BLS, "in May, the number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks and over) increased by 361,000 to 6.2 million; their share of unemployment increased to 45.1 percent."

And, BLS says:

"In May, 2.2 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, about the same as a year earlier. (These data are not seasonally adjusted.) These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey."

Update at 8:37 a.m. ET. BLS says that:

"Private-sector employment continued to trend up (+83,000), although by a much smaller amount than the average for the prior 3 months (+244,000). In May, job gains occurred in professional and business services, health care, and mining. Local government employment continued to trend down. Employment in other major industries changed little over the month."