U.S. unemployment rate down, but not all good news for job seekers

(WTNH) — Today, the Labor Department announced unemployment rates are at their lowest point since 2007, going from 5% in April to 4.7% in May.

But, the feds say it isn’t all good news. They blame the drop to nearly 500,000 people saying they have stopped looking for a job.

“They are interviewed on the telephone and asked did you look for work in the last month and they just happen to say no, while the month before they said yes,” said Patrick Flaherty with the Connecticut Department of Labor.

Flaherty says it is too soon to say whether or not this month’s numbers are an indication of something bigger happening in the job market.

May was the slowest month in 5 years for national job gains. The labor department reports just 38,000 employees were hired, compared to a 230-thousand per month average for the twelve months prior. Flaherty says other numbers paint a better picture of the overall outlook.

“We’ve added over 2.3 million jobs in this country in the past year and the most recent data showed that we have a record number of openings, over 5.6 million openings. Companies say they’re looking to hire,” said Flaherty.

Flaherty says Connecticut has added about 20,000 jobs since April of last year. While that might not seem like a big number, Flaherty points out Connecticut workers make up just one percent of the national workforce. He says 20,000 is actually a fairly strong number.

Flaherty reports most sectors, with the exception of the government, are currently hiring in the state.

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