Employment

The Labor Department's May jobs report, released Friday, was surprisingly bad.

Economists scrambled to explain why they hadn't seen a hiring dropoff coming. Most had predicted about 160,000 new jobs for May, but in fact, only 38,000 materialized. That was the smallest increase since September, 2010.

The U.S. economy added just 38,000 jobs in May, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in its monthly report — far fewer than the 160,000 that economists had anticipated.

NPR business editor Marilyn Geewax called the number "shockingly low."

The unemployment rate declined by 0.3 percentage points, the Bureau says, to 4.7 percent — but that can be attributed to people dropping out of the workforce, Marilyn says.

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Trigg County is one of three more Kentucky communities certified as work ready. 

Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet Secretary Hal Heiner said in a statement the county is now on the official list of Kentucky Work Ready Communities. 

The U.S. economy gained 242,000 jobs in February while average wages dropped slightly, according to a Bureau of Labor Statistics report released Friday.

The unemployment rate held steady at 4.9 percent.

The report indicates stronger job growth than expected, and an improvement over the previous month. January's count of 151,000 new jobs — far lower than had been anticipated — was revised upward, to 172,000. And the job gains for December were also revised upward, from 262,000 to 271,000.

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Kentucky’s rate of unemployment rose slightly to 5.8 percent in January this year.  

According to the state Office of Employment and Training, the preliminary January jobless rate was half a percentage point above the 5.3 percent rate recorded in January 2015.  

No question, this was a traumatic, sad week because of the mass shooting in San Bernardino, Calif. It's not easy to turn to good news.

But putting grief aside for a moment, there were indeed positive developments for the country in recent days. With cheaper energy, more jobs and higher stock prices, most Americans have been seeing their financial situations improve. Here are some of this week's highlights:

The U.S. economy added 211,000 jobs in November, the Labor Department says in its new report. The unemployment rate remained steady at 5 percent, according to the monthly data from the agency's Bureau of Labor Statistics – the last such report before the Fed meets later this month.

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Employment benefits both individual and business, allowing each to contribute adequately and uniquely to the community. Individuals with disabilities, however, often find navigating the workforce intimidating, difficult and sometimes impossible. Employment Connections Manager at Easter Seals of West Kentucky, Ashley Taylor, speaks with Tracy on Sounds Good about how she works with her team to positively match disabled individuals with local employers. 

Marriage And Work Over Time

In the early 1970s, there was a standard model for married couples where at least one spouse worked full time: In two-thirds of those marriages, the man worked and the woman didn't.

Over the next several decades, that changed dramatically, as more and more women moved into full-time jobs.

By the turn of the century, the standard had reversed: In nearly two-thirds of these marriages, both people worked full time.

The November jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that the U.S. job market continues to improve at a steady pace.

Here are the two big numbers from Friday's report:

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