According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the "real" unemployment rate, the U-6 rate, jumped from 15.8% in April to 16.4% in May as the labor market shed another "projected" 345,000 jobs during the month. The U-6 rate has jumped nearly 7 basis points from May of 2008 when it was 9.8%.
As I have written about before, the U-6 unemployment rate includes three types of workers that are not part of the more publicized U-3 unemployment number:
1.) Marginally attached workers - people that want a full time job, have looked for one in the past, but are no longer looking for work.
2.) Discouraged workers - those that have given a job market reason for not looking for a job.
3.) Persons employed part time for economic reasons - in other words, somebody that wants a full time job but has had to settle for part time work.
There are two problems with the labor market right now that are not independent to the housing market. Not only are jobs being lost, but jobs are not being created as is evidence by the rising unemployment percentage.
This rising unemployment rate means that more homeowners are at risk of losing their home and fewer buyers will be able to obtain a loan to buy their first home. The results are already being played out in the housing market as 12.07% of all mortgages are at least 30 days late, the highest on record. Additionally, existing home sales, despite massive government intervention, remain stunted.
At the current pace of affairs, and with unemployment not expected to peak until 2010, the housing market, contrary to Jim Cramer, is not at a bottom.