Jobless Numbers Increase

June 7, 2011

Two employment reports released last week from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and Automatic Data Processing, Inc. (ADP) show stalled employment growth, with the unemployment number increasing from nine percent to 9.1 percent.

BLS reported Friday, June 3 that jobless claims were up slightly in May from 9 percent to 9.1 percent. Employers added only 54,000 jobs in May, down from a revised 232,000 in April. Though still growth, this represents the weakest jobs growth since September 2010. According to experts, an estimated 125,000 new jobs are needed on a monthly basis simply to keep up with population growth.

Also last week, ADP released their monthly ADP National Employment Report which showed similarly slowed growth in employment. According to ADP, Employers added 38,000 jobs in May, down slightly from their revised April numbers of 177,000 new jobs.

Amid both reports showing less-than-stellar economic growth, small businesses continue to grow at faster rates than large companies. Employment among firms with 500+ workers decreased by 19,000, while employment among the smallest business, those with fewer than 50 employees grew by 27,000, and employment among mid-sized small businesses, those with 40 to 499 employees grew by 30,000.

In total, small firms (fewer than employees) created 57,000 new jobs and more than offset the decreases by large firms. The majority of gains among small businesses came from service-sector businesses. Although any job growth in the small-business sector is positive, it is worth noting that the May report shows a decline from the April ADP-reported small-business total job gains of 168,000.