The unemployment rate climbed back up to 9.1 percent in May, as the rate of private-sector job growth slowed to just 83,000, according to the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics employment report. The prior two months data were also revised downward, lowering the average job growth for the last three months to 160,000, approximately 70,000 more than what is needed to keep pace with the growth of the labor force.
The weakness in the private sector goes along with a government sector that lost 29,000 jobs in May and has lost an average of 24,300 jobs over the last three months. State and local governments will continue to make cutbacks, and there is a strong likelihood of further cuts in federal spending in the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1. Without new stimulus, the unemployment rate may continue to creep upward.
For more information, check out our latest Jobs Byte.