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May Unemployment rate jumped to 5.5%

According to BLS and WSJ: The U.S. unemployment rate posted its sharpest one-month increase in 22 years last month, suggesting U.S. consumers already facing a housing slump and soaring gasoline prices now confront growing pressure from a weakening jobs market.

The data, which included a fifth-straight drop in nonfarm employment, should take financial-market expectations of Federal Reserve rate increases as soon as this fall off the table.

The below graph shows the unemployment rate and the year-over-year change in employment vs. recessions.

Employment Measures and Recessions

(click to enlarge; coutesy of CR)

Note the current recession indicated on the graph is “probable”, and is not official.

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