Originally Published: June 5, 2016 5:50 a.m.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released the May Jobs Report on Friday, noting the slowest growth in five years with 38,000 jobs added to the national economy. This may be due to a slower than expected first quarter growth and a cautious attitude from employers.
Secretary of Labor Perez stated that the “fundamentals” are still driving the economy, referring to consumer purchases and household spending that remain steady. Unemployment dropped to 4.7 percent nationally, however, BLS Household Survey data showed that just under a half million individuals dropped out of the labor market.
Specifically, health care added 46,000 jobs with most of those in ambulatory health care services, hospitals, and nursing care facilities. Professional and business services gained around 10,000 jobs, and professional and technical services added 26,000 jobs. These are the livable wage jobs that continue to increase in demand for the quad-city area.
The manufacturing sector lost 28,000 jobs in May, with most of those occurring in employment in durable goods and machinery. Additionally, jobs declined in the information sector by 34,000, and in mining by 10,000 jobs.
The survey also identified 538,000 discouraged workers in May who are not included in unemployment counts. These are people not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them. The survey noted that the remaining 1.2 million persons who are “marginally attached” to the labor force and not included in unemployment figures, had not searched for work for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities.
Alexandria M. Wright, is director of the Yavapai College Regional Economic Development Center, which provides analysis and services that facilitate economic development throughout Yavapai County and build wealth in our local communities.