Unemployment 9.7% for May 2010

The May 2010 monthly unemployment figures are out. The rate decreased to 9.7% and the number of jobs gained is 431,000. 411,000 of those jobs were temporary Census workers. Only 41,000 private sector jobs were added. The official unemployment rate dropped due to the temporary Census hiring and people plain fell off the count.

Total nonfarm payroll employment grew by 431,000 in May, reflecting the hiring of 411,000 temporary employees to work on Census 2010. Private-sector employment changed little (+41,000). The unemployment rate edged down to 9.7 percent



Below is the nonfarm payroll, seasonally adjusted:



The civilian labor force participation rate dropped -0.2%, to 65%. The employment to population ratio, down -0.1% to 58.7% (this is different from the report overview but it is a change). That means there are more employed people to the civilian non-institutional population, as a ratio, than last month (see graph below), which reduces the unemployment rate, but doesn't erase the people now destitute and not being counted.



Those not in the labor force increased by 493,000. The civilian labor force decreased by -322,000. Of those in the civilian labor force, employed, dropped -35,000 in May. This explains the overall drop in the unemployment rate, people simply dropped out of the count even with census temporary worker hirings.

Of those unemployed the number of re-entrants, or people trying again, dropped -286,000. New entrants into the job market who don't have a job dropped -25,000.




  • Long term unemployed - 6.8 million
  • Forced Part Time - 8.8 million
  • Marginally attached to the labor force - 2.2 million

Of the Marginally attached, 1.1 million are discouraged.



U6, or Total unemployed, plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force, plus total employed part time for economic reasons, as a percent of the civilian labor force plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force, (table A.15), decreased to 16.6%. Then 46% of the official unemployed have been so for 27 weeks or longer, which is horrific, approaching half.

One needs at least 100,000 and some estimate up to 300,000 permanent full time jobs, added each month to keep pace with U.S. civilian workforce population growth. That's not general population, that's the group needing a job. To even get back to pre-recession unemployment rate levels we need a good 400,000 jobs created each month. That's permanent jobs.

So, how did the unemployment rate tick down? Because more people stopped being counted. Below is the graph of the civilian non-institutional population, which is the largest super-set of the potential labor force, larger than the civilian workforce, due to those who are not looking for work, retired and so on being counted in this figure. It increased this month by 170,000. Unemployment is a percentage, a ratio.


In looking over table B1 we can get a little more detail on what kind of jobs were created (and lost) on the permanent jobs front. These include temporary jobs.

  • Financial: -12,000
  • Information: 0
  • Construction: -35,000
  • Manufacturing: +29,000
  • Mining & Logging: +10,000
  • Health and Education: +17,000
  • Leisure and Hospitality: +2,000
  • Professional & Business Services: +22,000
  • Trade, Transportation, Utilities: +6,000
  • Retail Trade: -6,600
  • Government: +390,000

In Professional services, 31,000 jobs were temporary.

You probably also want to know the birth/death model. What is that? It's a statistical adjustment to compensate for new businesses and dead businesses who are not actually tallied by data reports. Those jobs created and died outside the statistical reporting time window due to lag. So, the BLS estimates how many jobs can be attributed to those firms which are not actually counted. This month's adjustment was 215,000 jobs. Now one cannot directly subtract the birth/deal model monthly numbers, because unemployment data is seasonally adjusted, yet the birth/death adjustment is not seasonally adjusted, get that? Anywho, jobs attributed to new and dead businesses are just an estimate in so many words.

Notice this report more closely matches the ADP report of +55,000 private sector jobs vs. the BLS +41,000.

The average work week flat lined, an increased of 0.1 hr. to 34.2 hrs/wk. Average earnings (drum roll please), increased 7¢.

Subject Meta: 

Forum Categories: 

Green Shooters dying on the vine

It is finally dawning on them that this ain't no "V" recovery or potentially a recovery at all with this unemployment report.

Add to that the European ongoing crisis, plus the oil spill and the DOW is down 330 pts at 3PM EST.

Still doubting those U numbers....

I am frankly amazed anyone would place any faith in those U-_ numbers???

I mean, with all the posts here on government perfidy (paid for by various corporate-sponsored lobbyists; highly-paid professional porn watchers at SEC, FED, Dept of the Interior, etc.) why should ONLY the U numbers and data be sacrosanct?


I hope I dug out the truth of the numbers, which is why I go through all of those population, civilian pop., participation rate, drop out rate and show the overall population growth even of those who could work....

i.e. instead of 15 million unemployed, just by U6, it's 24-25 million and then there is this huge swath that are not even counted in that....so you might take it up to over 30 million.

So, I'm going through the bowels of the data to capture the ones who are not counted but should be (or at least that's what I'm trying to do with all of those graphs).

That's also why I don't write up initial claims too often, they are always revised, always in a direction that makes a nice media buzz headline and hides the fact initial claims have not abated to pre-recession levels.

Then, there is serious lag because of their antiquated reporting systems. (thank the states too!)

I don't believe all numbers are simply fabricated. If so, assuredly someone could have come up with a much better believable lie.

I am reading the actual numbers, statistics on these things and I do chase around columns of data to try to extract anomalies and figure out where they come from.

I do not believe the government is simply making numbers up out of their ass. I do believe the data collections are outdated, have a huge lag time and drop information.

I'm not just doing "graph-o-rama", I do check the graph numbers to make sure they match the data numbers and whatever method is used, i.e. real GDP, 3 decimal vs. compounded continually vs. % chg. does match the data and the particular graph is valid.

Some things I've harped on are: global supply chains, sourcing. They attribute "productivity" as well as significant GDP to stuff that really was made offshore using foreign labor and thus should not be attributed to domestic metrics.

I harp on the population numbers continually in these reports, the huge lag time and have also mentioned only about 48% of the total workforce is W2. A huge percentage of the real labor force is sole prop, or 1099-misc or permatemp. All of these groups
cannot collect UI, which leaves them hanging out to dry and their numbers are ignored by the BLS in these statistics, it appears they only count W-2 vs. 1099-misc, corp-to-corp.

I think I harp on a host of things which well, I don't see anywhere else in the finance blogs. I know they are read but few comment on these various diggings but I try to be exact, spent a lot of time on this.

What did Biden say?

Jobs report will be "a screamer"? Wall Street is pretty noisy today. I feel for Main Street, Those 440,000 census jobs will end when the work is done. We need something more lasting.

Frank T.

Government Economy Unsustainable

They are doing a good job of keeping government employees working while less people in the private sector are getting paid to pay the taxes that pay for those jobs and we are borrowing more everyday to maintain the status quo.

Financial Suicide

Total US debt today was $13.06 trillion. Total debt on March 6, 2009 was $10.95 trillion. The government has spent $2.1 trillion dollars to create a bear market rally which has now fizzled, and to fund a fiscal stimulus that is now dancing its death rattle. GDP will now gradually roll over, the unemployment rate will once again start increasing, diffusion indices, manufacturing and all other economic output will begin declining, but not before the bill is in. It cost Americans $2.1 trillion in debt to generate a 14 months sugar high (for which all will promptly receive a much higher tax bill). Luckily, we will never pay this debt off, so perhaps "the joke is on them" after all.

A tale of 2 economies. One supported by the other no matter how its spun.

April 2010 BLS Unemployment by sector

Construction 21.8%
Farm  15%
Hospitality/Liesure 12.8%
Manufacturing 11.1%
Retail 9.5%
Professional   9.5%
Financial         7.6%
Education and Health Services 5%
Federal, State & Municipal workers 3.4%

Meanwhile even government officials are running away from the government propped up housing market and the TED continues to rise now at 41.59.

The flood comes when the interest reserves run dry

“Temporary tax credits change behavior temporarily. It’s simply shifted demand forward. ... It actually created some price appreciation that’s not supportable long term.”

Douglas Duncan, Fannie Mae Chief Economist, June 4, 2010

“This is a market purely on life support, sustained by the federal government,” he said at the Mortgage Bankers Association conference. “Having FHA do this much volume is a sign of a very sick system.”

David Stevens head of the FHA

Still a “Government-Financed Market

Plus I am tired of hearing about deflation when the CPI is up not down. This doesn't include state and local taxes which are going way up everywhere around me anyway.

Government Stats Are Fixed Anyway

Truly a no-brainer, and great comments, sir!

Excellent points, and as I keep yelling at the over-40 age crowd (and especially the over-50-years-old crowd, which has no excuse whatsoever), there is no economy (and no media, for that matter!):

"Financial 7.6%"

And this makes up the bulk of the GDP, so the "financialization of the economy" should be a no-brainer to even the no-brains!

The status quo, neoliberal WH

Obama's Treasury Dept Working To Defeat Derivatives Proposal 'Of Utmost Importance' To Reforming Wall Street.  Maybe we can nominate him for an Oscar. I'd suggest his performance on the campaign trail, or maybe his performance on the Gulf. Did you see that scowl?   We're losing the gulf war .