Jobless Rate Rises To 7.6%, With More Workers Entering Labor Force

Man looks at job listingsBy Jason Lange

WASHINGTON -- U.S. employers stepped up hiring in May, a sign that the economy was growing modestly but not strong enough to convince the Federal Reserve to scale back the amount of cash it is pumping into the banking system. The United States added 175,000 jobs last month, just above the median forecast in a Reuters poll, Labor Department data showed on Friday.

The unemployment rate ticked a tenth of a percentage point higher to 7.6 percent, with the increase actually giving a relatively hopeful sign as it was driven by more workers entering the labor force. Still, after a winter in which the economy seemed to be turning a corner, May was the third straight month that payrolls outside the farm sector increased by less than 200,000.

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That could heighten concerns government austerity this year is sapping vigor from the economy, and might dampen speculation that the Fed might soon trim bond purchases aimed at lowering interest rates and boosting employment. "The labor market may not be as strong as we thought," Kevin Cummins, an economist at UBS in Stamford, Connecticut, said ahead of the data's release.

Officials at the U.S. central bank have intimated they could be close to reducing bond purchases despite modest economic growth, which is not expected to pick up until late in the year when the sting from government spending cuts begins to fade. Budget cuts have led to hiring freezes at many government agencies, and attrition could be slowly reducing payrolls. Government payrolls declined by 3,000 in May.

About 4.4 million Americans have been unemployed for more than six months, roughly 3 million more than pre-recession levels. The longer workers are out of a job, the greater the risk they become essentially unemployable. That could deal lasting damage to the economy and has lent urgency to the Fed's efforts to stimulate growth.

Still, May's pace of job growth is right around the average for the prior 12 months. Over that period, the jobless rate fell about half a percentage point and the ranks of the long-term unemployed declined by about 1 million people. "It's progress that's too slow, but it's progress nonetheless," Guy Berger, an economist at RBS, also in Stamford, said before the data was released.

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Even the increase in the unemployment rate had a bright side. The share of the population in the labor force -- which includes people who are either employed or looking for work -- rose to 63.4 percent. That was driven by 420,000 workers entering the workforce. That is good news because some of the recent drop in the jobless rate has been due to workers leaving the labor force, either because they retired, went back to school or gave up looking for a job.

The report showed the length of the average workweek held steady at 34.5 hours, although total hours worked in the economy ticked 0.1 percent higher. At the same time, U.S. factories are feeling the pinch from Europe's debt crisis, which has sent a chill over the global economy. Manufacturing employment declined by 8,000 jobs last month.

After barely growing in the last three months of 2012, the U.S. economy expanded at a moderate 2.4 percent annual rate in the first quarter but lost momentum as the quarter drew to a close. Most economists look for growth of around 1.5 percent in the current quarter.Fed officials next meet June 18-19 and are widely expected to keep purchasing $85 billion in bonds a month. Many economists don't expect the job market to be strong enough for the Fed to begin scaling back its bond purchases before December.

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rjen164497

There are more people then ever not working. The Government, Liberal media, and head in the sand Democrats don't tell and won't admit the facts. Every week more people fall off the labor force then find jobs. If you stop looking or your claims run out they drop you from the unemployed roles. True unemployment is almost 20%. When schools graduate this and next month all those graduates who can't find jobs won't be counted. Only 64% of Americans who want full time have full employment. Keep drinking the Kool-aid fools.

June 08 2013 at 7:53 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
axman922

with suicide increasing you would think that would be enough for these do nothing politicians to start some real efforts to get everybody back to work to say nothing of the cost of having all these people out of work puts on the whole country what is it going to take to get these corporations and politicians off thier collective butts and put the whole thing right by re-employing and hiring people who need it . we have a large part of these people who have knowledge and have shown thier desire to work yet they are still left out in the cold putting pressure on thier familes and the system when they could be helping keeping it going , but noo these GREEDY business owners have had a long taste of record prfits and they dont think about the real cost of thier disgusting practice of GREED and what its doing to the country they make thier profits in.

June 08 2013 at 7:31 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
rrpatreilly

Of course these unemployment numbers are deceptive. Too many people are still unemployed but are no longer counted. That gave us a false unemployment number and made the admimnistration look better than they deserved. Now as a few more of these people once again start to look for work they are being counted. Again there are still too many people unemployed and are not counted until they begin to look for work again. It had been reported that the real unemployment number was higher than 11.5%. That is totally unacceptable and our government would not allow that numbet out thru official avenues. obama has done nothing to create an environment for business growth, investment or hiring. Ask yourself, who or what parry benefits when they middle class shrinks adding to the number of poor people in America? It certainly isn't the businessman or the conservatives who understand that we need a vibrant middle class to purchase goods and services. Is it just a coincidence that as the number of people living in poverty rises, the voting bloc for the democrat party also rises? I think not.

June 08 2013 at 7:12 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Paula

What I don't get is - Why is our own Government "IGNORING" the fact that H1B Visa Hurt Americans!!?

Recent articles suggest an "increase" of H1B Visa issuance from the current 250K to 500K allowing Corporations to get away with NOT paying FICA (SS) Income Taxes because these people have no Social Security # to tax.
Those Contracting Agencies who call Americans for their resumes... Want you to work on a corp-to-corp or 1099 basis - therefore making YOU responsible for your own taxes at the end of the year!
I don't know about you, but I don't have $1.400 just lying around for a trip to India, or Europe for that matter to find a job "outside" of these United States.
WE must join forces in protest. We need a "Viral" Cause to put America back to work - Canada will hire Canadians First - Americans are Hated because of the Propaganda and Lies our Gov't tells so nobody's hiring Americans - Regardless of race!
We are ALL Red White AND Poor! Google for info/links.

June 07 2013 at 8:52 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Gene

When people no longer have a job because that job was moved overseas or for some other reason the people apply for Unemployment for as long as they can and try to get a comparible job with comparable pay but when they have exhausted those benefits they apply for Welfare but yet they are in many cases still looking for a job...
The problem is The Government does not show the REAL numbers of Welfare and Unemployed drawing Unemployment...
What happens when those figures change and we have 4% or even 5 % unemployment yet more have applied for Welfare?
Does that really change the REAL Unemployment figures?
We are actually looking at better than 24% True Unemployment...

June 07 2013 at 8:45 PM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply
Paula

If you lost your job, then couldn't get another one... then lost your home due to foreclosure because you were lied to about the "Refinancing process" then your husband/wife left you as a result, what else would you have to live for? There's Noting to look forward to - as Outsourcing has Crushed American's Hopes and Dreams! Until they repeal the H1B Visa program - the American Worker is Screwed. We are ALL Red White AND Poor!
Google it for more links/info.

June 07 2013 at 5:38 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Paula's comment
Bruce

Yeah, and their not going to do that anytime soon. It'd be politically incorrect to do so. Strong illegal immigration is also needed to stem the problem that the current regime doesn't wish to eliminate any more than any other regime in the past. They want to figure out how to "give" those here illegally, some form of immunity so they can get the same benefits as the citizens and then...by the way...vote for those who pushed it through. Whether it's the cheap labor force or what I'm not sure, but I continue to "hear" about some alliance group or other complaining that "their" illegal people have a right to be here and they want the rest of us to give up our lives for their benefit. "They have families and children", they say. Well guess what. The regular citizens have families and children too? In my own experience recently, there were two different families who received ZERO interest home loans, with NO down payment, from BANK of America of all places, apparently through some government program because they were from another country. In the last 15 years I haven't been able to get less than a 20% down loan, from anyone and B of A wants more than 20%, and my credit is in the 900's with no other outstanding loans. My current mortgage is still at 4.8%. I haven't been working for over a year and a half because of an injury, and it looks like it's going to be permanent. My wife makes about 3000 a month. We're "overqualified" for a lower rate. No one will give us the 2 or 2.5 % that many government loans are giving and now that I'm not working I can't qualify for any loan, so it is all on my wife's wages. Equal opportunity is not for everyone apparently. Only those that are from outside the country at least in our experience.

June 07 2013 at 8:54 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
gdmn2find

Oh one more comment about deception...what isn't deceptive about this government? Anyone remember the promise of being "The most transparent government ever"? Yeah Right.

June 07 2013 at 4:58 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to gdmn2find's comment
Bruce

Apparently they think "transparent" means "covered up and blotted out completely". What should we expect from a community agitator though. He's not a problem solver, only a complainer and with Obamacare a big problem maker.

June 07 2013 at 8:57 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
gdmn2find

Hmm I understand they had to readjust last months numbers....downwards. I also understand that they have had to do that almost every month for the past few years. Initial numbers come in high, giving us the impression that things might be getting better. Front page news every time. Corrections like any other story are not so news worthy a week or two later after readjustments take place. So either they are not reported by MSM and only on Fox news or are printed in the Life section of print media about page 7.

June 07 2013 at 4:56 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to gdmn2find's comment
Bruce

The Dems call that "transparency" in government.

June 07 2013 at 8:58 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
pistolpete58

Plus now the goverment is cutting the amount you are getting on unemploymennt -hurt the people who are hurting the jobless very nice

June 07 2013 at 4:48 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to pistolpete58's comment
Bruce

And now they want to give immunity to everyone here illegally and still not enforce the borders strongly. Life sucks all around the world, but if we allow the world to all come here, and then not even legally, what of the rest of us that were actually born here of citizens that were born here. Yeah, I know that my ancestor’s from 150 years ago may have come and settled here freely. But things change and laws change and because of the nation’s growth our leaders realized that free flow immigration could not continue. Apparently many outside countries don’t feel the same, nor do many inside as well. I have a family to feed, clothe, and house just like anyone else. Why should they get zero interest loans with no down payment through a government sponsored programs, and I have to put 20 to 25 % down. My credit is in the 900’s with no outstanding debt? If they allow “how many ever millions” that are here illegally to stay, what are the chances for me…or my kids…or their kids. I say send them all back “with their families if they have them here or even if they were born here. But of course that wouldn’t give the Democrats all those free votes come election time.

June 07 2013 at 9:12 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Bruce's comment
pgile

Credit in the 900's when the best score is just 850. Makes you wonder about the other "facts" being presented, eh?

June 08 2013 at 6:34 AM Report abuse rate up rate down
ROBINHOOD

Deceit is all anyone gats from the Federal Government now.

June 07 2013 at 3:08 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply

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