By James Clary
Officially, the great recession lasted from December of 2007 through June of 2009, but two years later, neither the nation nor Hampton Roads have achieved the sustainable recovery that has followed every post war recession. The national Employment Situation report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics serves as another reminder of this weak recovery.
National Payrolls increased by 54 in May on a seasonally adjusted basis, below the 125 jobs the nation needs to add to match population growth, and even further below the initial expectation of 190. The most recent jobs report also revised down previous estimates of payroll growth by 39 jobs. Job gains were higher in the private sector, with firms adding 84 jobs this past month, but federal, state, and local decreased employment by 30 during the month.
The nation’s unemployment rate ticked up from 9.0% to 9.1% in May, indicating 13.9 million unemployed nationally, 6.2 million of which are the long term unemployed (those unemployed for 27 weeks or longer). The long term unemployed represent a serious threat to the national recovery as their job skills decline the longer they are out of work. The broadest measure of unemployment and underemployment (U-6) actually declined to 15.8% in May from 15.9% in June.