The May employment data has raised further concerns that the US economic recovery is stalling.
Only 54,000 new nonfarm jobs were created during the month, compared with a market consensus of 175,000 new jobs, and the unemployment rate rose from 9.0% in April to 9.1%.
US unemployment bottomed out at 6,737,000 million, or 4.4% of the workforce, in March 2007. However it rose rapidly through 2008 and 2009 as the US economy plunged into recession. Jobless numbers peaked at 15,612,000, or 10.1%, in October 2009.
United States unemployed (seasonally adjusted)
Total unemployed dropped to 13,542,000 in March, or 8.8% of the workforce, but have risen again over the past two months. These figures have had a big impact on investor confidence because the world’s largest economy should be creating up to 250,000 new jobs per month in a robust recovery.
US employment data has become a particularly important statistic as far as investor confidence and the next release, on 1 July, will be awaited with interest.