Just a quick update on metropolitan jobs numbers for May, and it's a bad news, good news kind of day. The unemployment rate had gone down, year over year, in our region, but was up compared to the prior month. So, in the Camden area, which includes Camden, Gloucester and Burlington counties, the unemployment rate was 8.0 percent in May, down from 8.4 percent in May 2012, but up from 7.7 percent in April.
Same story in the Philadelphia area, which includes Bucks, Montgomery, Chester and Delaware counties: May's unemployment rate dropped to 7.9 percent from 8.2 percent in May 2012. But, it's up from 7.5 in April.
Nationally, the unemployment rate, not seasonally adjusted, was 7.3 percent, down from 7.9 percent in May 2012 and up from 7.1 percent in April.
I'm not sure if this necessarily means things are getting worse. The report, from the U.S. Labor Department, is not seasonally adjusted, so it isn't clear how much of the change relates to seasonal employment patterns. It's a good sign that it's better than a year ago, when, presumably, employment patterns were similar. I did a quick check on April/May patterns over the past 11 years and most of the time, April's unemployment rate was the same or lower than May's.
By the way, Wilmington's employment statistics did not fit the pattern. The area that includes Wilmington, Salem County and parts of Maryland had an unemployment rate of 7.2 percent in May, up from 7.1 percent a year ago, but unchanged from April 2013 or April 2012.