The US jobs market is certainly heading in the right direction, though market experts are concerned that the pace is not nearly fast enough to make much of a positive difference for the 12 million Americans still struggling to find any hope to cling onto following the recession’s peak.
According to the latest jobs reports issued by the Labor Department before the weekend, approximately 175,000 jobs were added during May. This figure is pretty much the precise average when taking into account job growth over the past 12-months in the US, during which time average salaries have also changed very little.
Of course, economists and market analysts have taken at least a little solace in the fact that the jobs situation isn’t getting any bleaker as had been predicted by some, but at the same time there are few with any particularly optimistic projections for the coming months at least. In fact, should the current rate of growth in the national job market continue at the same pace, we’ll be looking at another five years before unemployment hits the same lows as recorded before the recession took hold in 2007.
The news is unlikely to be well-received by any of America’s sizeable army of jobseekers, who at this stage are beginning to feel entirely let down by the system having failed to put a single foot wrong in their working lives and yet having nothing to show for their efforts and dedication.
Wall Street on the other hand looked entirely more favorably on the latest job report as slow growth in the jobs market makes it highly unlikely that current Federal Reserve spending policies will be scales back anytime soon. Should the job market display unexpected strength, the knock-on effect could spell a rather gloomier turn of event for Wall Street investors.
As it happened, both the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones industrial average ended the day’s trading with at least 1% gains following the publishing of the reports.
America’s unemployment rate saw an uptick form April’s 7.5% to 7.6% for May, which although not necessarily an average to be proud of nonetheless suggests that more citizens are actually looking for work, as opposed to giving up all hope and praying for a miracle.
This would seem to be echoed by the sentiments picked up on by a recent survey conducted by CBS News in conjunction with the New York Times, which indicated that a solid 39% of Americans are confident that the economy is heading in the right direction.
Sadly however statistics paint a decidedly less rosy picture of the overall situation, with both hourly earnings and weekly hours worked on average having remained almost stationary for several months. Labor Department figures suggest that wages have increased by no more than about 2% from the same time last year, making it difficult for Americans to keep up with inflation and live their day to day lives without struggling.