Employment estimate shows May hiring lower than forecast

05.31.2012


Employment estimate shows May hiring lower than forecast
Employment estimate shows May hiring lower than forecast

U.S. employers added fewer workers than had been expected in May, suggesting the job market is still struggling to break free from the grips of the jobs crisis, Bloomberg reports.

According to the news source, a recent report on payrolls showed 133,000 jobs were added in May, following a gain of 113,000 jobs in April - a number that was also smaller than forecast. The median estimate of economists who responded to a Bloomberg survey showed 150,000 new jobs were expected to be added in May.

Companies may still be hesitant about staffing full-time workers due to shaky consumer spending and a troublesome recession in Europe. Economist predict that the official report on new jobs from the U.S. Labor Department will show payrolls increased by 160,000 in May, and unemployment will still hover above 8 percent.

"We hit a soft patch in the economic indicators recently, and business leaders aren’t immune to that," Russell Price, a senior economist at Ameriprise Financial Inc. in Detroit, said before the report. "There’s very little for employers to be encouraged about in terms of adding to their workforce."

According to the media outlet, the number of Americans hoping to receive unemployment benefits rose to its highest in five weeks, another sign companies may be backing away from hiring workers full-time. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) show first-time unemployment applications increased by 10,000 to 383,000 in the week ended May 25.

According to Reuters, the unremarkable employment data is indicative of the current global business environment, with China's cooling economy causing problems around the world.

"The economy is growing at an anemic pace and the job market is showing some signs of hesitation in the pace of hiring. There is a lot to worry about," said Paul Edelstein, an economist at IHS Global Insight.

Though hiring is slow, new jobs are still being added. Looking back at April's data from the BLS, 132,989 new jobs were added, which included a jump in temporary employment of 21,000. With an expected 160,000 new jobs added in May, temporary staffing employment will likely also notch slight improvements.

Since August 2009, temporary help services has added 744,000 jobs - more than half of all jobs added in the professional and business services.