Friday, June 5, 2009

Jobless rate hits 9.4 percent in May; layoffs slow

The real unemployment rate is almost twice as high (see article below).

    WASHINGTON (AP) -- With companies in no mood to hire, the unemployment rate jumped to 9.4 percent in May, the highest in more than 25 years. But the pace of layoffs eased, with employers cutting 345,000 jobs, the fewest since September.

    The much smaller-than-expected reduction in payroll jobs, reported by the Labor Department on Friday, adds to evidence that the recession is loosening its hold on the country. It marked the fourth straight month that the pace of layoffs slowed.

    "This tide is turning," said Richard Yamarone, economist at Argus Research. "We expect this trend of slower job loss to continue throughout the year."

Dick is either lying or stupid or both.

Temp work helps mask joblessness among Americans

    TOWNSHEND, Vt. (AP) - For weeks, Greg Noel roamed the spine of the Green Mountains with a handheld GPS unit, walking dirt roads and chatting with people as he helped create a map of every housing unit in the United States.

    Work was good: The sun was out, the snow was gone and the blackflies hadn't begun to hatch. But now that work is over and Noel, 60, and more than 60,000 other Americans hired in April to help with the 2010 census are out of work once more.

    It's a familiar predicament in today's economy, in which some 2 million people searching for full-time work have had to settle for less, and unemployment is much higher than the official rate when all the Americans who gave up looking for jobs are counted, too.

    Because of the surge of hiring for the census, April unemployment only rose to 8.9 percent - a much slower increase than had been feared.

    But consider these numbers:

    _The 8.9 percent April unemployment rate was based on 13.7 million Americans out of work. But that number doesn't include discouraged workers or people who gave up looking for work after four weeks. Add those 700,000 people, and the unemployment rate would be 9.3 percent.

    _The official rate also doesn't include "marginally attached workers," or people who have looked for work in the past year but stopped searching in the past month because of barriers to employment such as child care, poor health or lack of transportation. Add those 1.4 million people, and the unemployment rate would be 10.1 percent.

    _The official rate also doesn't include "involuntary part-time workers," or the 2 million people like Noel who took a part-time job because that's all they could get, plus those whose work hours dropped below the full-time level. Once those 9 million workers are added to the unemployment mix, the rate would be 15.8 percent.

Read all of it...