The government reported Friday morning that unemployment for the month of May ticked up to 8.2%. The report generally seen as disappointing news as the economy added only 69,000 jobs. Economists had been predicting 158,000.
The number is watched intensely most months but is drawing even more attention because of this year's presidential election. The conventional wisdom is that the lower the jobless rate by November the higher the chances the President Obama will win reelection.
The May jobs report disappointed on a number of levels.
The number of jobs created was a lot lower than what economists had been predicting.
The government also reported that the number of jobs created in March and April were not as large as first reported. In those two months combined there were 49,000 fewer jobs than the Labor Department had said.
Also disappointing in the May jobs report -- the number of long term unemployed. That number went up, with 300,000 Americans joining the rolls of the people unemployed six months or longer. There are now 5,400,000 Americans who've wanted a job for more than six months and can't find one.
Areas of the economy that saw job losses in May included construction, government and leisure & hospitality.