May Jobs Report Is Hopeful, And Dow Jones Knows It: 4 Takeaways
The Bureau of Labor Statistics' jobs report for May was released Friday, and as has often been the case throughout President Obama's tenure, the numbers are big, contentious political items. And so, the May report is a win not just for job-seekers and the hiring market, but for the administration as well — yet another month has seen more than 200,000 jobs added to the American economy,
But not everything contained in the report is quite as optimistic. After all, if you read the Republican National Committee's response to the May jobs report, you'd see chairman Reince Priebus telling you that "President Obama has given up on creating jobs" because of his support for new EPA emissions rules — a weird claim, to be sure. Here are four takeaways from the report...
1. The Economy Added 217,000 New Jobs, Give or Take
The jobs added figure is, as always, the biggest takeaway from any BLS report. For May, this number was particularly strong, and fits into a recent string of strong hiring months — over the last year, an average of 197,000 jobs have been created each month.
The sparkling 217,000 figure likely won't stay right where it is in the months to come. Thanks to the retroactive revisions the BLS releases as the true number of new jobs becomes more precise, it's virtually assured that you'll see that number increase/decrease a little.
This just happened, in fact, to April's jobs numbers — initially reported at a whopping 288,000, the BLS has since revised the total downwards to 282,000. Which is still a standout number.
2. Unemployment Held Tight, Labor Force Participation Still Low
The unemployment rate, sadly, didn't see any decline for the month of May, but even if it had, it might not be indicative of a positive change. That's because unemployment calculations can be notoriously deceptive — rather than a percentage of all non-working adults, people are actually only included in the unemployment rate if they're still trying to find a job.
If they drop out of the hunt altogether, whether from demoralization or inability to find a sustaining job, they don't count against the national unemployment rate anymore. As a result, sometimes the rate inching downwards isn't such a positive or informative event, so much as a clerical one. In May, however, at least this much positivity can be said — there's a whole bunch of new jobs out there, and the unemployment rate held firm at 6.3 percent.
The labor force participation rate, however — measuring the number of Americans 16 or older who are actively seeking work — is still significantly less rosy. It stands at just 62.8 percent, unchanged since April, the lowest since the Carter administration in 1978.
3. Non-Farm Hiring Has Been Surging in Recent Months
According to Ron Sanchez, the executive V.P. and CIO of Fiduciary Trust who spoke to Forbes Friday, of particular note are the strong, stable gains that have been seen in non-farming job sectors over the last several months.
This is the fourth consecutive month that non-farm payrolls increased more than 200,000.That is the first time that we have seen four consecutive months of 200,000 or more since October of 1999. For a number that has a high degree of variability, this is notable for its stability. And markets always like to see a true trend, and this would appear to be a well-entrenched trend.
Additionally, the business sector added 55,000 new jobs, right in line with recent trends. The healthcare industry, on the other hand, added 34,000, two times their average over the last year. Considering that happened in spite of the industry toiling under the nefarious, job-killing Obamacare we've all heard so much about, that's pretty good.
4. The Stock Market Loves It
For real! Following the release of May's report, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has surged over 60 points, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite Index also had strong mornings. That the stock market is doing well should come as no shock — the Wall Street economic bounce-back has for years strongly outpaced America's employment recovery, to the distress of many.