Unemployment Ticks Back Up to 7.6% as Economy Just Keeps Chugging Along

The Atlantic
Unemployment Ticks Back Up to 7.6% as Economy Just Keeps Chugging Along
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Unemployment Ticks Back Up to 7.6% as Economy Just Keeps Chugging Along

Today's jobs report was "cable television's worst fear": Not amazing, not terrible, and right in line with what everyone was expecting. The big monthly jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics  announced 175,000 new jobs created in May, slightly above the predicted Wall Street "consensus," slightly better than April's, and almost exactly in line with the average job growth of the last year. 

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The unemployment rate did tick back up slightly to 7.6 percent nationwide, which is both good and bad depending on your interpretation. For one thing, that's basically a rounding error, bumping it up from 7.5 percent. But it also went back up, because the participation rate went up. That generally means that some unemployed workers have started looking again, because (in theory) they're more optimistic about the job market. S,o good. Not great.

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So what does it all say about the economy? Well, not a whole lot. Or at least nothing much that's new. According to the BLS, the number of people who don't have jobs is basically unchanged, and has been for sometime. We've created jobs every month for more than three years now, but not as many as we need or want. The Federal Reserve can't relax its vigilant watch over the markets yet, which are also sort of chugging along themselves. With nothing to freak out about or celebrate, we're basically on the same path we were a month ago. So come back next month for more of the same.

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