Earlier today, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released its monthly jobs report with the employment figures for May. It indicated that the economy added 431,000 jobs last month and that the unemployment rate decreased from 9.9% to 9.7%. On the surface, this spike in employment seems like a positive. However, a closer look reveals some truly shocking news. The New York Times reports:
…the underlying numbers showed that almost all of the job growth came from the 411,000 workers hired by the federal government to help with the Census. Most of those jobs will disappear in a few months.
This is an astounding revelation, especially when considering the hundreds of billions of dollars that the federal government has spent on different stimulus programs.
The report found that, of the 431,000 jobs created only 41,000 were in the private sector. That means that over 90% of the jobs created in the month of May were temporary government positions. The unemployment rate dropped to 9.7% because the labor force participation rate declined from 65.2% to 65% in April; the civilian labor force shrank by 322,000 in that month. The African American unemployment rate (16.5%) and teen unemployment rate (26.4%) each rose by a full percentage point and the unemployment rate for unskilled adults rose to 15%. Worse still, unemployed Americans are having difficulty finding employment. 46% of those out of work have been jobless for 6 months or longer. That is the highest percentage since 1948 when BLS first began collecting unemployment the data.
The BLS jobs report indicates that the near trillion-dollar “stimulus” package– which was forced through Congress and signed by President Obama–is falling well short of expectations. When Democrats passed the massive spending bill, they promised that it would keep unemployment below eight percent, create 3 million jobs and that 90 percent of the jobs it created would be in the private sector. It is now clear that the rampant government spending supported by Washington’s elite does little to ease the plight of average Americans. The job market is not improving and continued spending will undoubtedly lead us to the brink of a Greece-style economic disaster. Now is the time for Congress to break from its business as usual mentality and offer proposals to cut spending, help small businesses and get our economy back on track.
The American economy will recover. When it does, it will be because of the hard work of the American people, not the runaway spending of the Washington establishment.