Report May Employment Figures Beat Forecasts

06.05.09 | FL News Team

The Labor Department has released unemployment figures for May showing employers across the U.S. cut 345-thousand jobs last month. That number is the lowest since last September and far below expert forecasts.

In spite of the encouraging figures, the overall unemployment rate is up, hitting 9.4-percent last month. That is the highest since 1983 when the figure was the same and far higher than the 8.9-percent reported in April.

Analysts had forecast non-farm payrolls would fall by at least 520-thousand so the actual figure of 345-thousand is seen as evidence the most severe problems with the economy may be waning. Construction industry payrolls fell 59-thousand in May after falling 108-thousand in April.

The service industry shed another 120-thousand jobs where 230-thousand had vanished in April.  The manufacturing sector purged 156-thousand jobs in May. Analysts say many of those positions vanished during auto plant shutdowns following the Chrysler bankruptcy.

Bright lights were seen in May for the education and health services sector. Payrolls for both expanded by 44-thousand after increasing by 13-thousand the month before. Since the recession began in December of 2007, the U.S. economy has lost 6 million jobs.