Friday, August 19, 2011

Bad jobs report in July is good news

July Bureau of Labor Statistics unemployment data reported that 117,000 non farm payroll jobs were added to the economy. Black unemployment is 15.9%; National rate 9.1%

The July unemployment report was some good news when everyone was expecting bad news. You can hear the Whitehouse going "Whew!" Total private employment increased by 154,000 jobs but the number was offset by -37,000 drop in government employment. The other big story was the continuing fall in employment population ratio (58.1%) and the labor force participation rate (63.9%). Both are at record lows. People are leaving the labor market in huge numbers.

The national unemployment rate slid down to 9.1% and the Black unemployment rate dropped to 15.9%. Economists had predicted 100,000 new jobs and the actual number was higher. However, it is below the rate of population growth.

Private non farm payroll increased +154,000. Employment increased in business services by +34,000 while healthcare went up by +37,000. Manufacturing added 24,000(durable +23K, non durable 1K). Construction gained 8K. The biggest drop was in local government jobs which fell by -37,000 primarily due to the public workers strike in Wisconsin.

Black unemployment down slightly

Black unemployment was reported at 15.9%, roughly twice the rate for Whites and 50% more than Hispanics. It was 15.3% in Feb. 2011. About 2.80 million Black people remained unemployed in July, 2011 about the same number as June. The Black labor force participation rate tumbled again to 60.4%. In February 2010, it was 62.7. The number of Blacks holding jobs shrank by -69,000. An additional -151,000 Blacks dropped out of the labor force in June. And finally, the employment / population ratio for Blacks shrank to 50.8%. It would be astounding if less that half of the Black people in the US were employed.

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