The Latest Jobs Report

May 4, 2012

Today the Department of Labor released their latest jobs report. Job growth was slow again in April, adding only 115,000 jobs to the economy. Private employers added 130,000 jobs while government jobs decreased by 15,000.

Even though jobs numbers are low, the unemployment rate decreased a tenth of a percentage point to 8.1%, as a result of disenfranchised workers leaving the market. The 115,000 jobs added in April falls far short of the 168,000 jobs predicted in recent survey of economists by Dow Jones Newswires. Despite the loss of government positions, manufacturing saw a marked increase of 16,000 jobs during the month of April, and the average hourly earnings rose by 1 cent to $23.38.

A broader measure of the jobs situation, one that includes job seekers as well as those stuck in part-time jobs, is unchanged at 14.5%. This number reflects a more accurate representation of the “real” unemployment level including those who are underemployed, job seekers, and who have given up on looking for a job. With the job situation looking bleak, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said last week, “If unemployment looks like it’s no longer making progress, that will be an important consideration in thinkingabout policy options.”

With the increases in the federal deficit and national debt climbing, an improvement in the jobs market is the best chance to help the economy recover. But, unfortunately it looks like that is not happening soon.

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