Friday, June 01, 2012

Urgent: U.S. adds just 69K jobs; jobless rate rises; Dow Jones plunges 275, and GCI dives nearly 6%

[Updated at 4:28 p.m. ET with closing stocks.]

The U.S. added just 69,000 jobs in May, the smallest increase in a year, the government reported moments ago. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch expected a 165,000 increase. The unemployment rate, meanwhile, rose to 8.2% from 8.1%, mainly because more people entered the labor force even as hiring slowed.

On Wall Street, stocks got hammered. Gannett shares closed down 5.6%, to $12.33 -- the worst percentage decline among major newspaper publishers. (Table shows historical prices.)

Scripps was off 5.3% to $8.51; McClatchy was down 5% to $2.08; NYT Co., down 4.4% to $6.36, and Media General slid 2.6% to $3.44.

The widely watched Dow Jones Industrial Average skidded 275 points, or 2.2%, to 12,119. The broader S&P 500 index fell 2.8% to 1278.

Compounding an already weak report, according to The Wall Street Journal: March and April payroll gains were revised down. Nonfarm payrolls increased by 77,000 in April, compared with the previously reported 115,000, and March payrolls grew by 143,000 versus a previously reported 154,000.

Earlier: Gannett's worldwide employment fell 5% last year, to 31,000; spreadsheet shows annual change since 1994. Plus: A year ago this month, GCI laid off 700 U.S. newspaper workers.


  1. And to think how much worse the REAL number probably is, when you factor in all the wanna-be workers who have just given up, along with those whose benefits have now expired (meaning they're not getting counted for unemployment either).

  2. I know it goes against the narrative some would like to portray, but isn’t it time for Gannett and others to give a real look at unemployment in this country or will that only come out after November’s election cycle?

  3. And, for too many people I've known who landed work, it's for far less than they used to make, or on contracts with no benefits. They are not journalists, but people in IT or ex-govt employees.

    This slow recovery means downward mobility, even for those who have been lucky enough to find work.

    Difficult times all around, friends. Even worse for dying industries like newspapers and the non-existent model to keep quality journalism alive.

    Don't mean to sound so down. If you have your health, a good family and a couple of true friends, you are very lucky indeed.

    Thanks for the forum, Jim.

  4. IT jobs are in huge demand and salaries are increasing. You are wrong about IT workers.

  5. Agreed, Scott, but most I know are were company people who now fund themselves independent contractors, left to fend for themselves for insurance, retirement savings, etc.

  6. I'll be counted as a +1 in June, just started a new job today. IT job, nothing to do with newspapers.

  7. Congrats 3:15. That inspires the rest of us to keep looking.

  8. Speakin' of which, one of the employees my site laid off was a stellar standout, highly talented. Most of us knew our stuff par excellence, but that particular individual's deftness at wearing many hats was astounding. And they then begged for that individual to come back... re-hired as a contractor. The person was very young and was desperate while real employ was being sought unsuccessfully, so the individual accepted the offer... telling me that it surely would lead to a series of contracting. I advised that perhaps one harbored too much youthful enthusiasm/naivte and that the only interest involved was one of exploitation. Sure 'nuff, the one "job" completed, other stuff comin' down the pike (some of them that person's ideas), it was "See ya!" again.

  9. Gannett is FUCKED. another recession will be the end of this shitbox of a company!

  10. Ad dept here. Going to market has become near impossible with a straight face and/or clean conscience. Rate structures/content/ROI/customer service//etc./etc./etc have been crapping on both readers and advertisers now so long that it is beyond repair. Circ down in print. 2 paragraph "stories" online. An editorial voice that is completely contrary to the market it serves. No current and coherent marketing. New ad pricing, gimmicks, contests, blitzes, incentives, acronyms, strategies, code words weekly. Management under qualified for McDonald's. Propaganda, spin, and lies the norm. My entire location on job hunt - if not for a total crap economy, desertion of my site would be complete.

  11. Jim. I wonder if you consider starting a thread in which the 700 who were laid off last year could tell us how they're coping and whether or not they've been able to find work.

  12. 6:03, come on y'all. Write correctly.


Jim says: "Proceed with caution; this is a free-for-all comment zone. I try to correct or clarify incorrect information. But I can't catch everything. Please keep your posts focused on Gannett and media-related subjects. Note that I occasionally review comments in advance, to reject inappropriate ones. And I ignore hostile posters, and recommend you do, too."

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