Unemployment Falls to 9.7 Percent

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Though the non-farm unemployment rate dropped two tenths of a percentage point to 9.7 percent from the previous month, the gain in jobs was less than analysts (and no doubt the Obama administration) hoped for. In May, employers nationwide created 431,000 new jobs, which was the biggest increase in a month since the beginning of the recession. But analysts had predicted that over half a million jobs would be created — and the bulk of the new jobs (a whopping net 190,000) were temporary census-worker positions, created by the government and scheduled to end after the summer. Only 41,000 new private-sector jobs were created. Meanwhile, according to the Times, since the recession started at the end of 2007, over 8 million Americans have lost their jobs.

U.S. Added 431,000 Jobs in May, Mostly From Census [NYT]