Why the Jobs Report is Still Bleak

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Job seekers wait to enter a job fair in New York on March 2.

Shannon Stapleton / Reuters

It sounds nice that 491,000 jobs were created in May. But the surge in Census hires means almost all of May’s booming job creation is simply temporary.

The New York Times reports 431,000 non-farm jobs were added nationwide in May, the largest monthly increase in an entire decade. Recession over? Not even close. The numbers remain severely skewed by the Census workers who account for 411,000 of the added positions, all of which will evaporate in the next few months. Private-sector job growth gives us little to cheer about — with just 41,000 jobs created.  (And don’t forget, since December 2007, more than eight million people have lost jobs.)

In addition, companies continue to lean on temporary workers. Most of the private-sector growth were in temporary positions. Despite the horribly depressing numbers, Obama applauded the increase at a press conference Friday, saying it still represented sign of an improving economy.