While Americans try to hang onto hope that the economy is improving, there is still a long way to go in terms of job creation. With more than 15 million Americans currently out of work, the number of positions that are being offered is not enough to curb the demand for employment. Unfortunately, with more than 8 million of these laid-off workers being casualties of the economic crisis, there are millions of individuals who have been unemployed for extended periods of time.
The Labor Department posted a 12,000 person increase in the number of individuals applying for jobless benefits, according to the Associated Press. With the number now resting at a seasonally-adjusted 472,000, this is the highest level in a month. Economists are worried that should this trend continue, June employment numbers may face a sharp decline as a result of a loss of jobs in the private sector.
Economist with BMO Capital Markets, Jennifer Lee, told the news provider that if the economy continues to go the way that it has been, June could see the first decline of private sector jobs in five months.
"We've definitely seen the economic recovery hit a wall," she said.
Kevin Logan, an economist with HSBC Securities echoed Lee's statement, saying that analysts have been waiting for jobless claims to fall below 450,000 but continue to be disappointed when it turns out not to be the case.
"The wait is getting longer and longer," Logan told the news provider. "As each week goes by, doubts about the underlying strength of the economic expansion grow."
The nation's unemployment rate dropped from 9.9 percent to 9.7 percent in May. However, of the 431,000 jobs created during this time period, 411,000 of the positions were from the U.S. Census, which will dissipate by the end of the summer.