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Unemployment, May 2013: A Big Meh May 3, 2013

Posted by geoff in News.

April unemployment numbers are out! On the surface the unemployment numbers for April have barely changed: the unemployment rate dropped by another tenth of a point (from 7.6 to 7.5). The Household Survey says this is because we added 293K jobs in April, which would be great if the number of part-time jobs hadn’t gone up by 441K.

That means the last couple of months have shown a small decline in the full-time participation rate (# of full-time employees divided by the civilian non-institutional population), which you can see in the graph I lovingly maintain each month:


The graph says that while the official numbers have improved slightly, the fact is that the employment situation has worsened slightly. You can also see this in the U-6 number, which went up by a tenth of a point (13.8% unemployment to 13.9%).

The Establishment Survey says that we added 165K jobs: 185K in services, and -9K in goods-producing (I sense another “Obama’s Failure to Add 1 Million Manufacturing Jobs” post coming up shortly). The big winners in services were:

  • Professional Business Services: 73K (31K were temp jobs)
  • Leisure & Hospitality: 43K
  • Retail Trade: 29K
  • Health Services: 26K

Tax time might explain the Professional Business Services number, but I’m not sure why Leisure & Hospitality is doing so well.


1. skinbad - May 3, 2013

Kind of looks like the patient has flat-lined.

2. geoff - May 3, 2013

We’ll know for sure in a few more months. Meanwhile, what’s really amazing is how consistently feeble the vaunted recovery has been. It’s taken us 3 years to get 15% of the way back to the pre-recession peak.

3. Michael - May 3, 2013

The weak recovery is because we have not done enough to make home ownership more affordable, which would stimulate the economy and create jobs.

4. Michael - May 3, 2013

Maybe we should make the banks act to aggressively reinvest more capital in minority residential communities, instead of redlining those neighborhoods.

We could call this legislation . . .

*scratches head*

Gimme a minute, I’ll come up with a name.

5. lauraw - May 4, 2013

Micheal, I’d laugh, if he weren’t actually trying to do just that. *cries*

6. lauraw - May 4, 2013

Little Johnny One-Note only knows how to Fighty-fight for Fairness.

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