From MarketWatch: U.S. economy gained 117,000 jobs in July
“The U.S. economy added 117,000 jobs in July and an even larger 154,000 in the private sector while the unemployment rate fell to 9.1% from 9.2%, partly because 193,000 people dropped out of the labor force, according to the latest government data. Job gains in May and June were also revised up by a combined 56,000, the Labor Department reported Friday. Average hourly wages rose 10 cents, or 0.4%, to $23.13. The workweek was unchanged at 34.3 hours.”
The unemployment rate decreased to 9.1%.
The current employment recession is by far the worst recession since WWII in percentage terms, and 2nd worst in terms of the unemployment rate (only the early ’80s recession with a peak of 10.8 percent was worse).
This was still weak, but better than expectations for payroll jobs, and the unemployment rate. The 154,000 private sector jobs – and 56,000 in upward revisions to May and June are improvements.
- Duration of Unemployment
Two key categories moved down in a little in July. The 27 weeks and more (the long term unemployed) declined slightly to 6.2 million workers, or 4.0% of the labor force.
Also the less than 5 weeks category declined in July after increasing in June.
Unfortunately this data only goes back to 1992 and only includes one previous recession (the stock / tech bust in 2001). Clearly education matters with regards to the unemployment rate – and it appears all four groups are generally trending down.
Although education matters for the unemployment rate, it doesn’t appear to matter as far as finding new employment (all four categories are only gradually declining).
Note: This says nothing about the quality of job – many college graduates are underemployed.
- Diffusion Indexes
This is a little more technical. The BLS diffusion index for total private employment was at 58.6 in July, up from 56.6 in June, and for manufacturing, the diffusion index increased slightly to 53.1.
Think of this as a measure of how widespread job gains are across industries. The further from 50 (above or below), the more widespread the job losses or gains reported by the BLS. From the BLS:
“Figures are the percent of industries with employment increasing plus one-half of the industries with unchanged employment, where 50 percent indicates an equal balance between industries with increasing and decreasing employment.”