Well, employers didn’t cut anywhere near the number of workers expected by a majority of economists. Payrolls dropped by -20,000 vs. a consensus expectation of -75,000. The unemployment rate is at 5%.
The job losses are still concentrated in construction, manufacturing and retail trade. Jobs were added in healthcare and in professional and technical services, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It’s still a blue-collar and pink-collar recession. For instance, the unemployment rate of workers with less than a high school education rose from 7.6% in December, 2007 to 7.8% in April of 2008. The unemployment rate for workers with a high school diploma increased from 4.7% to 5% over the same time period. But the unemployment rate is down (a fraction) for workers with a bachelor’s degree or more–from 2.2% to 2.1%.
It’s beginning to look like a short and shallow recession.