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Friday, July 08, 2011

A Day Away (Update: And Some Comments on the Employment Report)

I was on the road most of Thursday (I'm in Dallas), have commitments almost all of today, and then travel back to Oregon Friday night. So not sure if I'll have the time to say much. (I haven't missed a day posting since I started doing this, but I can't say that all days have been equally productive.)

Let me know how the jobs report comes out, or whatever else is on your mind.

Update: Wow (the bad kind of wow) -- The economy added only 18,000 jobs in June and the unemployment rate rose to 9.2% (and previous months were revised downward):

Jobs Data Dim Recovery Hopes, WSJ: Nonfarm payrolls rose 18,000 last month... Payrolls data for the previous two months were revised down by a total 44,000 to show increases of only 25,000 jobs in May and 217,000 in April.

The jobless rate, which is obtained from a separate household survey, increased for the third straight month to 9.2% in June, from 9.1% in May. ...

Friday's report showed private-sector employers, which account for about 70% of the workforce, added only 57,000 jobs in June, down from 73,000 in May. The weakness was broad-based.

Manufacturing employment remained weak, adding only 6,000 jobs. Economists were expecting a bounce back as disruptions to manufacturing production stemming from Japan's earthquake should be easing by now. Employment in the battered construction sector was broadly unchanged. The housing sector remains a big drag on the economy.

Employment in professional and business services, which had shown strong gains in previous months, rose by only 12,000.

Government employment fell by 39,000, the eighth drop in a row, following declines in all levels of government struggling to close budget gaps.

Remembering that we need around 100,000 to 150,000 jobs per month just to keep up with population growth, this represents a net reduction in employment.

We have 14.1 million unemployed according to the report, with 6.3 million out of work for six months or longer. Wages fell slightly.

Why, again, are we spending so much legislative time trying to figure out how to cut the deficit in the short-run -- which will make things even worse -- instead of focusing on job creation? We do need to get the budget under control in the long-run, but deficit reduction can wait until the economy is on better footing. We need more help for job markets right now, not the creation of additional headwinds that work against the recovery.

[Echoed at Moneywatch.]

    Posted by on Friday, July 8, 2011 at 06:03 AM in Economics, Unemployment | Permalink  Comments (74)


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