If you’ve read the recent headlines about new jobs, then you’ve missed the real story.

While payrolls grew in May by 431,000 workers, all but 20,000 were temporary Census workers. This tally was weaker than the 520,000 expected by a consensus of economists.

Unemployment also fell, but again some headlines are misleading: Over 300,000 individuals dropped out of the labor force. Overall, the report depicts an economy and labor market that is struggling to find a foothold.

Securities Industry

A small loss of about 200 workers capped an anemic month in the industry for May.

Job creation for 2010 is flat, and current employment levels continue to hover at the low point for this downturn, which started nearly two years ago in June 2008.

Total employment in this industry remains at 2005 levels, with about a 9% decline and a loss of over 80,000 workers in the downturn

Finance and Insurance

The May report brought more bad news for this broader sector, which consists of banks, insurance and securities organizations with over 5.5 million employees.

Losses for the month totaled 4,000 people, as employment continues to edge down each month this year.

Total losses for 2010 stand at over 26,000 jobs — and since the downturn started in July 2007 over 530,000.