June 4, 2012

Jobs Added to the U.S. Economy Since January

Contact us
To speak with a scholar or learn more on this topic, visit our contact page.

New jobs growth slowed sharply in May as employers added just 69,000 jobs to the economy – less than half of what economists predicted. Just four months ago, employers added 275,000 jobs, which dropped to 259,000 jobs added in February, and then down to just 77,000 jobs added in April. 

The data also show that the unemployment rate fell in February, March, and April, while the amount of jobs added in each of these months shrunk by about half the jobs of each previous month. This goes to show that lower unemployment rates do not mean more people are getting hired; this number can fall simply because someone has stopped looking for work and is not counted as part of the labor force.

The latest figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics cast doubt on whether American businesses, investors, and job seekers will have enough momentum to work through the uncertainties of slow economic growth in the United States and abroad.

*Data Note: The figures in chart represent the monthly changes for employees on nonfarm payrolls, which is the conventional measure used for showing job growth. The data can be found in Table B-1 of the Bureau of Labor Statistics website.