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Jobs Report Casts More Doubt on Speed of Recovery


Latest News > Industry News

June 7 — Friday's jobs report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics looked good at first glance, but closer inspection revealed more concern for the speed and possibly the direction of the recovery of the U.S. economy.

U.S. employers added 431,000 jobs in May, but 411,000 of those were temporary workers hired for the U.S. Census. That left a net gain of only 41,000 jobs in May, well below expectations.

Wall Street reacted badly to the news. The Dow dropped more than 300 points.

Jobs in non-residential construction fell by 4,200 in May, according to an analysis by the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC). The number of construction jobs had gained across the board in April.

Since May 2009, non-residential employment has fallen by 55,400 jobs, or 7.5% of the total, ABC said.

Residential construction employment slipped by 3,300 jobs last month. The sector has lost 66,400 jobs, 10.3% of its total employment in the last 12 months, ABC added.

"Nothing could be more disappointing," said Anirban Basu, ABC chief economist, about the jobs report.

"Undoubtedly, a combination of factors, including still tight credit and high commercial vacancy rates, conspired to reverse what had been growing construction employment momentum," said Basu. "In addition, the lower unemployment rate for the industry tells us that more people have given up trying to find construction jobs."

See more construction economics reports and analysis at the ABC website.