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Job Market Added Few Positions Last Month But There is a Silver Lining

Published on Jun 3, 2011


Read 'Job Market Added Few Positions Last Month But There is a Silver Lining' at 'Time to Start Up,' the small business blog by BizFilings.
The U.S. economy added 54,000 jobs in May and unemployment rose 0.1 points to reach 9.1 percent, according to data released Friday by the Labor Department. The figures reflect a paltry gain in the employment market, especially in comparison to the 232,000 positions added in April. While most economists were discouraged by the report, others analysts were quick to point out some of its silver linings. "There were some bright spots in the May data, but only a few," wrote Neil Irwin for the Washington Post. "The unemployment rate rose primarily because more people - 272,000 of them - joined the labor force and began looking for a job. Average weekly pay increased 0.3 percent, as both the length of the workweek and hourly pay rose." Irwin added that the number of unemployed professionals who have effectively given up looking for work declined slightly, adding another degree of good news to an overall unfavorable report. As entrepreneurs and small businesses continue to struggle with poor sales, they look to the state of the jobs market as a harbinger of consumer activity. When Americans are employed, they can be expected to spend more and rejuvenate markets.