Yes, I know that’s not the headline you’re reading everywhere else. But that’s the fact.
The economy added 103,000 jobs last month, the Labor Department announced today, but as many of you know, there needs to be close to 150,000 new jobs each month to keep up with growth in the workforce. That’s why the unemployment rate remained the same, at 9.1 percent.
The White House is sure to treat the better than expected numbers as an announcement that the president had figured out how to turn rocks into gold, but it still means that more people are out of work.
Don’t be fooled when the White House talks about private sector job growth, which totaled 137,000. They do that to obscure the total public and private sector figure, which is the true employment figure of 103,000 new jobs, as if people working for the government didn’t exist.
We’re stil not close to the Feb-April 2011 figures, which averaged over 200,000 new jobs per month. And a broader measure of unemployment, which includes those who have stopped looking for work and those taking part-time jobs – neither of whom are counted in the standard unemployment rate – is at its highest level of the year, at 16.5 percent.
That suggests the 9.1 percent unemployment rate won’t come down much soon, since once those people start looking for work again if the economy improves, they get added into the calculation of the standard unemployment rate.
Hopefully, though, the fact that the economy is creating some amount of jobs right now suggests that we won’t have a double dip recession.