June 5, 2009

The May Employment Situation Report (060509)

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:45 am


  • ADP’s National Employment Report on the private sector showed 532,000 jobs lost in May, and revised its original April figure of -491,000 down to -545,000.
  • Predictions for today’s report are grim. AFP says that “Most analysts expect employers to have cut 520,000 jobs, down from 539,000 in April. But the unemployment rate is still expected to have jumped to 9.2 percent, its highest since 1983.”

Here’s the news from Uncle Sam’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS):

Nonfarm payroll employment fell by 345,000 in May, about half the average monthly decline for the prior 6 months, the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor reported today.  The unemployment rate continued to rise, increasing from 8.9 to 9.4 percent. Steep job losses continued in manufacturing, while declines moderated in construction and several service-providing industries.

Talk about a mixed bag — Many fewer jobs lost compared to expectations, but an unemployment rate that’s noticeably higher.

Here’s a major anomaly — BLS’s first paragraph discussing the unemployment rate, which uses the “Household Survey,” says that 787,000 jobs were lost in May using that report’s measurement methods, which are reportedly less precise than the jobs data, which is based on the “Establishment Survey” of employers.

My knee-jerk theory would be that the ranks of the self-employed, who tend to be missed in the Establishment Survey, got seriously depleted during May.


UPDATE: The fact that ADP’s private sector job-loss number of -532,000 is over 200,000 higher than than Uncle Sam’s comparable -338,000 (-345,000 less 7,000 government jobs lost) would support the idea that many of self-employed abandoned their businesses in May. ADP does a huge business with employers of 1-9 people, and even does a lot for people who just work by themselves. Many of these people picked up by ADP get missed by the Establishment Survey’s data collectors, but are more likely to get picked by those involved in BLS’s Household Survey.



  1. What? Nothing here about Democratic pizza delivery beatings?

    Hey did you know that you’re a hypocrite / idiot?


    Well now you do.

    Comment by salvage — June 5, 2009 @ 12:08 pm

  2. graphs, man, graphs for us who are conceptually challenged:



    Comment by dscott — June 5, 2009 @ 12:09 pm

  3. One must wonder what koolaid the Whitehouse people drank in forecasting such a rosy scenario. Orszag, director of OMB must really be stoned by now after that Whitehouse budget he gave using such assumptions. How long before the MSM notices the difference between reality and the utopic visions of Obamamania?

    Comment by dscott — June 5, 2009 @ 12:15 pm

  4. #1, if it makes you feel any better, I took it down after 45 minutes because I figured a story about a registered Dem who isn’t an elected elected was insufficiently important. I still think the press would have called out his party if he were GOP.

    But, as you’ve proven in your comment, ignorant, boorish behavior dominates the left. Thanks for the confirmation.

    Comment by TBlumer — June 5, 2009 @ 1:23 pm

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