To me the most interesting thing about the latest Employment Situation Summary (May 2010) is that once again we’re going essentially nowhere from the preceding month. Though the numbers show a solid increase in employment for May of 431,000 jobs, 411,000 of those derive from hiring to staff up for the US Census. In fact, private sector employment shows a net increase of only 41,000 jobs over the previous month (less than 25% of the previous month’s growth of 195,000 jobs).
Given the recent downturn on global stock markets (three or more trading days in the last month have witnessed point drops in excess of 300 for the Dow Jones Industrials, and other indexes have seen multiple drops of three percentage points or greater on multiple days in this period as well) and a lackluster job growth situation, optimism about growth and recovery appear to be on the wane right now. I’m not convinced it’s once again time for total doom and gloom, but certainly a bit of caution and conservatism is called for, both for IT employers and those on the hunt for IT jobs.
And in fact, the information sector for May was dead flat with neither growth nor losses to report for that period. Here’s the snippet from Table B-1 that tells the information sector story:
While things are going nowhere, that’s still not as scary as going down, down, down. Personally, I’m hoping to see another up month soon, and after that, a few such months in sequence wouldn’t go down badly, either.