On Friday, June 1, 2012, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that the May nonfarm payroll employment changed a little adding only 69,000 jobs compared to 130,000 to 150,000 jobs expected by the Wall Street and the unemployment rate essentially unchanged staying at 8.2 percent. Some estimate that the number of unemployed persons amounts to 18 million in the U.S. The employment gains were in healthcare, transportation, warehousing, wholesale trade and the construction experienced a decline. Historically, from 1948 to 2012 the average unemployment rate stood at 5.8 percent and in November, 1982 reached a historic high of 10.8 percent and a record low of 2.5 percent in May, 1953.
Initial reports for April employment gains suggested that the economy added 115,000 jobs however, it was revised to only 77,000 jobs were added during the month. So, for last two months the economy is showing very minimal job gains frustrating many. The sluggish economic recovery worldwide is the main reason for minimal job gains.
The U.S. is not alone in regard to high unemployment. In Spain the current unemployment rate is 24.3 percent, Portugal is 15.2 percent, France and Italy at 10.2 percent, and the whole European region experience a rate of 11 percent.