Jobless Rate Jumps to 5.5%
Well, for those wondering whether the U.S. will enter a recession or not, this is not good news.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Pink slips piled up and jobs disappeared into thin air in May as the nation’s unemployment rate zoomed to 5.5 percent in the biggest one-month jump in decades. Wall Street swooned, and the White House said President Bush was considering new proposals to revive the economy.
Friday’s Labor Department report was filled with sobering numbers:
— Employers eliminated 49,000 jobs in May, the fifth straight month of nationwide losses.
— The number of unemployed people grew by 861,000 — to 8.5 million.
— Job losses for the year reached 324,000.
Longer unemployment lines mean even more angst for those seeking work.
Economists believe the 5.5 percent nationwide unemployment rate may overstate the weakness in the job market. But they still say it’s heading higher. Some predict it will hit 6 percent or higher early next year.
“Employers are uncertain about where the economy is going, so they are more cautious than they would normally be in pulling the hiring trigger,” said Tig Gilliam, chief executive officer of Adecco North America, a placement and recruiting firm.
Of course, it doesn’t mean the economy is in recession or has to go into recession. Still, bad news that sent the Dow plunging 400 points, and induced the White House to issue a statement that the President is considering new measures to revive the economy.