July Jobs Report: Unemployment Unchanged, Anemic Job Growth
by Charles Lemos, Fri Aug 06, 2010 at 04:22:37 PM EDT
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported its July Employment data.
Total nonfarm payroll employment declined by 131,000 in July, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 9.5 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Federal government employment fell, as 143,000 temporary workers hired for the decennial census completed their work. Private-sector payroll employment edged up by 71,000.
Both the number of unemployed persons, at 14.6 million, and the unemployment rate, at 9.5 percent, were unchanged in July.
Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate for adult men (9.7 percent), adult women (7.9 percent), teenagers (26.1 percent), whites (8.6 percent), blacks (15.6 percent), and Hispanics (12.1 percent) showed little or no change in July. The jobless rate for Asians was 8.2 percent, not seasonally adjusted.
While the overall unemployment rate remained unchanged, private sector job growth was anemic and fell short of the consensus number of 90,000 jobs forecasted by economists. Furthermore, the 71,000 private sector jobs created fell far short of the 127,000 new jobs required monthly just to keep up with population growth. In short, the US economy is falling farther behind in its capacity to provide employment.
The BLS also dramatically revised its number for June down to a loss of 221,000 jobs. The agency originally reported that 125,000 jobs were lost in June. Private sector hiring in June, originally reported at 83,000, was revised downward to 31,000. The US economy has shed 7.7 million jobs since the recession started in December 2007.
More details on the July employment report from the BLS:
In July, the number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks and over) was little changed at 6.6 million. These individuals made up 44.9 percent of unemployed persons.
The civilian labor force participation rate (64.6 percent) and the employment-population ratio (58.4 percent) were essentially unchanged in July; however, these measures have declined by 0.6 percentage point and 0.4 point, respectively, since April.
According to the BLS, there are 6.6 million workers who have been unemployed for more than 26 weeks and still want a job. This is 4.3 percent of the civilian workforce, just below the record set last month. The number has likely peaked because the long-termed unemployed have given up looking for employment. Still the long-termed unemployed make up nearly half of the unemployed.
The Employment-Population ratio decreased to 58.4 percent in July from 58.5 percent in June. This had been increasing after plunging since the start of the recession, and the recovery in the Employment-Population ratio was considered a good sign - but the ratio has now decreased for three consecutive months.
The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) was essentially unchanged over the month at 8.5 million but has declined by 623,000 since April. These individuals were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job.
About 2.6 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force in July, an increase of 340,000 from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey.
These numbers point to the U6, a broader measure of unemployment. The rate remained unchanged in July at 16.5 percent. This means nearly one in six Americans is either unemployed or underemployed.
Some additional color from the New York Times.