June 4th, 2010
08:48 AM ET
5 years ago

May jobs report a political mixed bag

The unemployment rate fell to 9.7 percent in May.
The unemployment rate fell to 9.7 percent in May.

Washington (CNN) - The nation's unemployment rate fell to 9.7 percent in May, the Labor Department reported Friday.

That's a drop of two-tenths of a percent from April's 9.9 percent level. Analysts had expected to rate to fall to 9.8 percent.

The Labor Department also reports that the economy added 431,000 jobs in May, the biggest monthly gain since March of 2000. But economists had forecasted a gain of 500,000 jobs.

Of the jobs added, 390,000 were in the government, with the private sector adding 41,000 jobs, down from 218,000 in April.

A top Congressional Republican was quick to react to the report.

"Count me among the millions of Americans who welcome a jobs report that shows jobs gained rather than more jobs lost," said Rep. Eric Cantor of Virginia, the House Republican Whip. "But a look beneath the numbers should give this Administration – and every American – cause for concern. We have to begin to address the structural deficiencies in our economy. Temporary or government jobs are not optimal, and private sector job growth simply isn't keeping pace with a growing labor force."

President Barack Obama is expected to comment on the unemployment report later Friday morning.

UPDATE 9:22 a.m.:

"I welcome job growth any day, week or month of the year, but the figures released today need to be stamped with 'Buyer Beware'," says Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, in a statement.

"The underlying fact is that 9.7 percent unemployment is unacceptable by any standard. No amount of spin will resolve the fact that the President's policies have been a colossal failure when it comes to creating jobs. If his speech in Pennsylvania was any indication, President Obama has no intention of slowing his high-spending, big-government agenda that prevents the private sector from creating the jobs we need to put our economy back on track," adds Steele.

- CNN's Scott Spoerry contributed to this report


Filed under: unemployment
soundoff (54 Responses)
  1. char

    over 1/2 of those numbers are census jobs. and i work for the cnsus so n 1/2 of those jobs on cnsus are creatd by the same person but considerd diffrent jobs created. its all politics.

    June 4, 2010 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  2. Four and The Door

    If his speech in Pennsylvania was any indication, President Obama has no intention of slowing his high-spending, big-government agenda that prevents the private sector from creating the jobs we need to put our economy back on track," adds Steele.
    ______________________________________________________
    How true. Not only are the administration's "fixes" not working, the massive spending will actually inhibit real, private sector job growth overall. By growing the government and increasing the financial drain that an expensive government puts on the private sector where all of the real economic value ( money ) is created, economic recovery is being permanently inhibited. The effects of poor, ineffective economic policies now will be felt for decades.

    June 4, 2010 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  3. jm for sc

    Actually, people need to look beneath the comments made by Republicans. They are trying to get back in power by any means necessary. Job gains are job gains by any measure.

    June 4, 2010 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  4. Brenda

    And.........have you heard/read the reports of how Obama's Admin are using census jobs to 'tweek' the unemployment/jobs created numbers??

    Many former census workers are now speaking out regarding this FRAUD.

    For example, thousands of census workers were hired. When they are hired this is cosidered 'new jobs created'. Then a week or so later, they are 'layed off'.

    Then, they are called back before their unemployment hits the unemployment numbers---and when they are called back, they are then adding them to the 'new job created' list AGAIN.

    These census workers who are speaking out-–said that this 'game' occurred the entire time that they were employed with the census.

    June 4, 2010 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
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