source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
So how does the MSM report the news? As always, it depends on who's in the White House (emphasis added):
CNN, July 5, 1996:
Economists didn't expect June's unemployment rate to be much different from May's, which was an already-low 5.6 percent. But in fact, it did fall -- to 5.3 percent.CBS's Dan Rather, June 7, 1996:
The government came out today with its latest report on unemployment. It says the unemployment rate rose slightly, 2/10ths of a point last month, up to 5.6 percent – still low overall.Washington Post, March 6, 2004:
[T]he unemployment rate held steady at 5.6 percent because hundreds of thousands of people stopped looking for work, the Labor Department reported yesterday. The weak jobs report provided fresh fuel for partisan combat in this presidential election year.Associated Press, January 4, 2008:
Wary employers clamped down on hiring and pushed the unemployment rate to a two-year high of 5 percent in December, an ominous sign that the economy may slide into recession. President Bush explored a rescue package, including a tax cut, with his economic advisers. . .CNN, January 4, 2008:
The disappointing employment figures sent Wall Street into a nosedive, thrust the White House into damage control and ratcheted up the blame game as Republicans and Democrats battle for the presidency.
Employers added far fewer jobs in the month than had been forecast, while the unemployment rate shot up to 5 percent, which was a two-year high, according to a government report Friday.(via Gateway Pundit)
Stocks sold off sharply on rising fears of a possible recession and there was a widespread belief in the markets that the Federal Reserve would have to respond to this report with a sharp drop in interest rates.
"December's bleak jobs report represents the siren call that this business cycle is just about over," said Bernard Baumohl, the managing director of the Economic Outlook Group, an economic research firm in Princeton, NJ. "We're about to tilt over to the other side of the economic curve and begin the downswing."