BY: Adam Gavriel
A fascinating story from NPR reports that in July, the United States unemployment rate continued to fall. The numbers for July are in and reports from the Bureau of Labor Statistics say that the unemployment rate fell to 7.4% from 7.6% and the US added 162,000 jobs in July – which came in below economists’ expectations.
From the report:
“Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 162,000 in July, with gains in retail trade, food services and drinking places, financial activities and wholesale trade. Over the prior twelve months, nonfarm employment growth averaged 189,000 per month.”
On the report as a whole, Barclays Capital economist Peter Newland called it “clearly weaker-than-expected.” He goes on to add “But one should not overstate it – the unemployment rate continues to trend down and average job growth of 175,000 will be more than enough to continue to push it lower.”
Before the report was released, economists expected an addition of 185,000 jobs to the economy.
Of course, the unemployment rate is always an imperfect way to calculate the American recovery. While it is a good measure to grasp the big picture, digging deeper may reveal a different story.
While unemployment in America continues to trend downward, underemployment remains a major issue in America, as does the situation of college graduates entering the workforce since 2008.
The number of long-term unemployed (27 weeks or more) was little changed at 4.2 million people. These 4.2 million account for 37 percent of the unemployed; and has declined just 921,000 over the past year.
Directly from the Bureau of Labor statistics release:
“The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) was essentially unchanged at 8.2 million in July. These individuals were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job.”
Continued, there were 988,000 discouraged workers in July, up 136,000 from a year earlier. Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them. That’s nearly a million Americans not looking for work because they are so pessimistic about the workforce not accepting them, and this number is UP over the past year while the unemployment rate has gone DOWN.
Again, the story always goes deeper.
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