Jeannine Aversa of the Associated Press writes that the jobless rate may have gone up last month because hundreds of thousands of people are encouraged about the prospect of finding work now.
“Hundreds of thousands of people, perhaps feeling more confident about their job prospects, streamed back into the labor force last month looking for work. That was a factor in the jobless rate's rise, economists said.”
Or maybe they are entering the work force because the family breadwinner is now out of work, underemployed or has had his/her hours cut down.
“Including laid-off workers who have given up looking for new jobs or have settled for part-time work, the so-called underemployment rate would be 16.4 percent in May, the highest on record dating to 1994.”
. . .
“To cut costs and perhaps avoid imposing further layoffs, employers trimmed workers' hours in May. The average work week fell to 33.1 hours, the lowest on record dating to 1964.”
Aversa does not name any of the economists promoting the confidence theory and apparently could not find any of the hundreds of thousands of confident new job seekers entering the labor force. However, she did find one already employed job seeker who would be “frantic” if he didn’t currently have a job.
“Dan Blatt, 37, who found a retail job in January after being laid off in October, is one of the lucky few. "I'd be frantic if I didn't have anything now," he said while attending a job fair in New York and looking for something even better.”