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Job Growth Was Slow And Steady In May, But Jobless Rate Rose

Filed by KOSU News in Business.
June 7, 2013

There was modest job growth once again in May even as the nation’s unemployment rate ticked up, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday.

According to BLS:

– 175,000 jobs were added to public and private payrolls last month, slightly more than economists had expected.

– The jobless rate rose to 7.6 percent from April’s 7.5 percent. That rate can rise even as more jobs are added because the size of the labor force has also gone up.

We’ll have more from the report, which was released at 8:30 a.m. ET, as the morning continues. Hit your refresh button to be sure you’re seeing our latest updates.

Update at 8:55 a.m. ET. Why The Jobless Rate Went Up:

As we said earlier, the jobless rate can go up even as employers say they’ve taken on more workers because the size of the labor force has increased more than the number of jobs that were added to payrolls.

That appears to be just what happened in May.

According to BLS:

– There were 420,000 more people in the labor force last month than in April.

– One reason for the growth was that fewer people were counted among the ranks of “discouraged workers.” The agency says 780,000 people who wanted to work had given up looking because they didn’t think they would find jobs. That was down from 835,000 in April.

Update at 8:45 a.m. ET. April Job Growth Revised Down, March Revised Up Again:

In its initial report about job growth in April, BLS said that 165,000 jobs had been added to payrolls that month. Now, it says the increase was 149,000.

But it has also revised up — for the second time — the increase in March. Initially, it said that 88,000 jobs were added that month. In its second swipe at that figure, BLS said the increase was 138,000. Now, it says there were 142,000 more jobs in March than in February.

Our original post — “What Will Jobs Report Say? Slow Growth Is Best Bet”:

Ahead of Friday morning’s much-anticipated report about the nation’s unemployment rate and how many jobs were (hopefully) added to payrolls in May, economists are expecting to hear:

– That the jobless rate was unchanged from April’s 7.5 percent.

– That there were about 170,000 more jobs, a modest increase.

In other words, as NPR’s Yuki Noguchi said on Morning Edition, it’s likely to be a more-of-the-same kind of report.

Bloomberg News says U.S. stock futures are little changed as the 8:30 a.m. ET release of the employment news approaches — a sign that the markets are also thinking that the report will be yet another sign that job growth remains sluggish.

A month ago, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said that 165,000 jobs were added to payrolls in April (a figure that could be revised in Friday’s report).

We’ll update with news from the May report once it’s released. [Copyright 2013 NPR]

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