PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The up and down employment picture in this country is down again. But one local economic expert suggests it’s not time to panic… yet.

Only 54-thousand new jobs were created in the month of May, according to the Labor Department. That’s far lower than the 220-thousand average of the last three months. Public sector jobs have dropped for the last 22 months, but private sector hiring is at its lowest point in nearly a year. All that forced the unemployment rate up to 9.1 percent.

fiorenza Local Expert Says Bleak Economic Picture Shouldnt Spell Panic Yet

Economics Professor David Fiorenza. (Photo provided by Villanova University)

David Fiorenza (pictured), economics professor at Villanova University, says all this continues to keep the economy in low gear.

One example: “People are not spending their tax refunds like they thought they would be, which would really spur some of the local and regional economies,” Fiorenza says.

He suggests people are waiting for the government to come with up a concrete recovery plan, be it the President, Congress or Republicans thinking about a run for the White House. Even state and local governments are being watched to see what they’re doing to create jobs and bring down costs.

Reported by David Madden, KYW Newsradio 1060

Watch & Listen LIVE