The jobs report for the month of May, 2012 is out by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the picture is not pretty. The national unemployment rate, often called the U-3 rate, increased to 8.2%, The broader, U-6 rate, which includes those unemployed who are not seeking work as well as those employed in part-time jobs, but seeking full-time employment, increased to 14.6%. In April, the U-3 was said to be 8.1% and the U-6 was 14.4%. The BLS also shows a net increase of only 69,000 non-farm jobs created in May, well below the expected number of 150,000 jobs. The numbers for April were also downgraded from the claim of 115,000 net jobs created to just 77,000. Add to this data from the Federal Reserve that the low labor participation rate of just 63.6% in April skews the national unemployment rate by at least 1%, making the actual U-3 for April at 9.1%. The labor participation rate for May is estimated to be 63.8%, meaning that the actual unemployment rate for May, 2012, is at least 9.2%, if not worse.
Market reaction was swift and negative, with Dow futures immediately plummeting 100 basis points from an already poor showing after more bad news from Asia and Europe. China is continuing to weaken while Europe remains a basket case with an unemployment rate now at a solid 11%. The situation in Greece was over-shadowed much of the past week with trouble in Spain and their banking system. Other factors, such as poor manufacturing reports, decline in consumer confidence, a lower GDP growth rate, and the Facebook IPO debacle caused the Dow Jones Industrial Average to lose about 6% of its value in May, 2012, making it the single worst month in nearly two years.
So if you are looking for good economic news, go back to bed and hide under your blankets. The Bureau of Labor Statistics released its job report numbers for May, 2012 and they were dismal. Job creation was less than half of what was expected and the national unemployment rate increased. The numbers for April were also updated and were worse, too. The BLS has been doing all it can to fudge the numbers to help the Barack Obama administration paint a rosy picture of the economy. But sometimes, no amount of frosting can make an inedible cake delicious.