Labor Department releases bleak jobs report. Time to panic about the economy? | The Tylt
According to the Labor Department, the U.S. only added 38,000 jobs in May, the worst monthly job gain since 2010. Job creation in the last two months fell well below the average of 200,000 jobs created monthly over the past several years.
The rate fell for a troubling reason: almost half a million unemployed Americans gave up looking for work. Plus, "hiring across the board was soft, with particularly heavy declines in construction, manufacturing and mining," the New York Times reported.
Should we be seriously alarmed by this news? Or is it too early to panic?
"It's a pretty gloomy report, hard to find a silver lining in this one," Curt Long, chief economist at the National Association of Federal Credit Unions, commented.
However, May’s job gain numbers were affected by the 35,000 Verizon workers who were on strike (the Labor Department categorized them as unemployed) and those workers are now back on the job. And the good news is that wages held steady (average hourly earnings were up again, 0.2 percent for the month). In a piece entitled "The Jobs Report Is Not Quite as Terrible as It Looks," economics professor Justin Wolfers argues just that: "It’s not that things are getting worse, it’s that they’re getting better more slowly." Unemployment remains at historically low levels.
Panic or stay calm? What do you think?
Labor Department releases bleak jobs report. Time to panic about the economy?
Coronavirus: Coverage and Care