Lower Private Payroll Numbers than Expected. Why?

Filed under: Recruiting, Staffing & Employment News

Staffing & Employment News

Lower Private Payroll Numbers than Expected, partially due to Re-entry of Discouraged Workers in April?

The jobs market gained momentum over the last few months; in the prior three months the number of jobs added averaged 220,000. The May figures released today however came in lower than expected. While private-sector employment added 83,000 jobs, this was a disappointing reversal of previous months’ growth. Expanding Industries include professional and business services (+44,000), health care (+17,400) and mining.

When an economy is healthy, monthly payrolls gains of around 150,000 are considered healthy; in order to recover from a downturn economists expect increased upwards of 250,000 monthly.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics release questions whether the May numbers are a temporary soft spot or a new trend. Severe domestic weather is not apparently a factor according to the Labor Department, but high energy prices and Japan’s continuing challenges probably are.

“There are good reasons to suppose the third quarter will be better because we have seen some easing in commodity prices, gasoline prices are starting to come down and the bad effects on vehicle production of the Japanese problems will start to unwind,” said Nigel Gault, chief U.S. economist at IHS Global Insight in Lexington, Massachusetts, reported Reuters.

The good news is that initial jobless claims have eased from elevated levels. And while the unemployment rate rose to 9.1 percent last month from 9.0 percent in April, this is probably due in part to the re-entry of discouraged workers who were motivated by the April hiring momentum, and re-entered the job market.

Most Robust Growth in 5 Years, Yet Mixed Messages about the Employment Outlook

Filed under: Recruiting, Staffing & Employment News

Staffing & Employment News

Most Robust Growth in 5 Years, Yet Mixed Messages about the Employment Outlook

Friday’s employment situation report released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics was stronger than anticipated with non-farm private payroll showing increased employment of 268,000 last month, surpassing March’s strong showing of 231,000. This growth is the most robust in five years, and marks the seventh straight month of employment increases. Nonetheless, jobless rate climbed and government jobs fell by 24,000.

The 43,000 surge in jobless claims is explained by various factors but nonetheless was higher than last month. The unemployment rate went from 8.8% to 9.0% month over month. The longer trend remains positive: The economy has added 2.1 million private sector jobs over 14 consecutive months, including more than 800,000 jobs since the beginning of the year. The unemployment rate rose to 9.0 percent, but remains 0.8 percentage point below its November level”, according to Austan Goolsbee, Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors. Read more »