9.4% Unemployment Rate in May
Did you ever think that the United States would be within reach of a 10% unemployment rate again?
The unemployment rate in May rose to 9.4% from 8.9% in April, as U.S. employers continued to cut jobs. Companies continued to shed jobs as cost-cutting measures and major bankruptcies continued to swell the ranks of the unemployed.
According to preliminary estimates (these are always revised later, usually higher), 345k jobs were cut in May, compared to 504k the month before.
The U-6 unemployment rate, which is an "alternative" method of measuring "true" unemployment numbers in the United States, came in at a staggering 16.4% in May. One year ago, the U-6 unemployment rate was sitting at 9.8%.
As mentioned, this is the highest unemployment rate that the United States has seen since July of 1983.
The highest rate since 1948 came in December of 1982, when the US posted a 10.8% unemployment rate.
Government officials stated that many "discouraged workers", or those who have completely given up on finding full-time work, have returned to actively seeking out employment. Some indicate that this is a sign that the economy is starting to improve.
Unemployment numbers are a lagging indicator, meaning that the numbers will continue to rise even after the recession comes to an end.
Many are of the opinion that the unemployment rate is beginning to bottom out, and that we will likely start to reverse course once we hit 10%.
The question that needs to be asked is: which industries are going to absorb all of these unemployed workers?
Which industries are going to be the engines of growth in the United States over the next 10-20 years? Which industries are going to be putting millions upon millions of Americans to work over that time?
Sure, Wal-Mart is hiring - but who else?
Filed under: The Economic Meltdown