Garrett Harris 8 p.m., Aug. 19
Employment Report Suggests Economy Weakening Alarmingly
The Labor Department's May employment report released today (June 4) indicates the so-called economic recovery is sputtering noticeably. The nation added 431,000 jobs in May, but 411,000 of them were temporary census workers. The private sector added just 41,000 jobs, down from 218,000 in April. The unemployment rate fell to 9.7% from 9.9%, but that partly reflected people leaving the labor force. The birth/death adjustment model, which theoretically attempts to reflect the number of jobs added by new enterprises that weren't counted in Labor Department surveys, rose to 215,000 jobs, up from 188,000 in April. Thus, it helped to bloat the anemic jobs number. There are problems with this estimate: 1. It is just a computerized generation, not representing an actual jobs count; 2. Many people, when laid off, set up their own businesses, such as consultancies, but they are not likely to succeed. The stock market is reacting negatively to today's report.