An economist at Ball State University believes the national employment report for May is an indication the economy is barely growing. Center for Business and Economic Research Director Mike Hicks says the numbers suggest the country will experience little or no economic expansion this summer. The U.S. Labor Department reports the national unemployment rate was 6.3 percent for May, unchanged from the previous month. June 6, 2014

News Release

(Muncie, Ind.) – Ball State economist Michael Hicks says May’s employment numbers indicates the economy is barely growing and paints a cloudy picture for the second fiscal quarter.

The U.S. Labor Department reported this morning that the American economy added 217,000 jobs last month. The unemployment rate is unchanged at 6.3% for May.

“The composition of labor is still weak with the greatest job gains coming primarily in temporary positions, healthcare and social assistance, food services and dinning establishments,’” says Hicks, director of Ball State‘s Center for Business and Economic Research. “Workers reporting holding two or more jobs rose by 20,000 in May. More worrisome, residential construction employment grew by only 100 workers nationally in May, and construction overall in the heaviest construction month rose by only 6,000 jobs nationally.”

He says last month’s job numbers are an indication that the economy is growing at a snail’s pace, suggesting that the highly anticipated weather rebound that should boost the economy in second quarter is not materializing.

“There has been no strong housing bounce and employment in the sectors which should signal a more rapid recovery are essentially unchanged,” Hicks says. “At this point it appears we are moving into another summer which will experience little or no economic expansion.”

Source: Ball State University

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