Friday, August 5, 2011

USA Unemployment Rate Dips to 9.1% (Charts) *Jobs growth up at +117K*

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Bureau of Labor Statistics: Monthly Employment Situation Summary


Official Statement by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (August 5, 2011) Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 117,000 in July, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 9.1 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Job gains occurred in health care, retail trade, manufacturing, and mining. Government employment continued to trend down.

Unemployment Rate (Chart) Per the Household Survey Data, the unemployment rate (U-3) decreased to 9.1% (preliminary) in July 2011, which is 4 consecutive months at or above 9.0%. The unemployment rate had previously been at or above 9% from May 2009 through January 2011, for 21 consecutive months. The Great Recession peak was in October 2009 at 10.1%. The Post-Great Recession low has been March 2011, at 8.8%.


Total Unemployed (Chart) Per the Household Survey Data, the total unemployed decreased to 13.93 million in July 2011. The Great Recession peak was in October 2009 at 15.63 million. The Post-Great Recession low has been March 2011, at 13.54 million.


Total Nonfarm Employment Monthly Net Change (Chart) Per the Establishment Survey Data, total nonfarm employment increased +117,000 (preliminary) in July 2011. This is a 3-month high, the highest monthly net job gains since since April 2011 (+217,000). The total  nonfarm employment job losses peaked during the Great Recession at -820,000 in January 2009. The best jobs gain subsequently has been the +458,000 in May 2010, which was mostly attributable to the hiring of census workers. Total nonfarm employment is a net number = net private sector jobs gain/loss plus or minus net government sector jobs gain/loss.


USA Net Jobs Gain (Loss) by Year (Chart) Per the Establishment Survey Data, total nonfarm employment by year illustrates the Great Recession job losses and subsequent insufficient Recovery rebound. 2007 was the last year to create jobs before the Great Recession, at +907,000 jobs gained. Great Recession job losses began in 2008 at -1,968,000. 2009 was even worse at -5,063,000. This resulted in a total of -7,031,000 jobs lost during the Great Recession in 2008 and 2009. As the Great Recession ended in 2009 and the Recovery began, the net jobs gain in 2010 was a meager 907,000. From 2008 through 2010, the net jobs losses were -6,091,000. 2011 has been stronger than 2010 for jobs creation and is projected at +1,594,286. Jobs creation for 2011 is estimated by extrapolating 2011 actual monthly net job gains and losses based on a 12-month year. Total nonfarm employment is a net number = net private sector jobs gain/loss plus or minus net government sector jobs gain/loss.



Commentary The July decrease in the Unemployment Rate (U-3) to 9.1% and Underemployment Rate (U-6) to 16.1% is not much encouragement, but it could be worse. The rise in the monthly increase (+117,000) in Total Nonfarm Employment is also not much encouragement, but at least it is positive. This indicates USA economic expansion has slowed significantly. Overall, the report indicates a continued weak to very weak, but not yet disastrous, employment situation for the USA. The +117,000 net jobs gain was comprised of +154,000 by the private sector and -37,000 by the government sector.

[Editor's Note] Please note the unemployment rate is calculated by a household survey and the jobs data (increase or decrease) is calculated by an employer survey. The household survey includes self-employed and farm workers, the employer survey does not include these. Overall, the jobs data (employer survey) has continued to indicate insufficient jobs growth to decrease the unemployment rate (household survey).


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