July 15, 2024

Economix: Searching for a Silver Lining



Dollars to doughnuts.

Not to be a Debbie Downer, but is there any good news in today’s jobs report?

First, the bad news:

  • The number of net nonfarm payroll jobs added in June was 18,000, which is not statistically significant from zero (since that’s compared to a base of about 131 million jobs). Job growth for the previous two months was revised downward, too.
  • The average duration of unemployment continues to break records, and in June was at an all-time high of 39.9 weeks. In other words the average unemployed worker has been looking for a job for nine months.
  • The unemployment rate ticked up to 9.2 percent, and not because more people joined the labor force. In fact, the overall size of the labor force was a little bit smaller.
  • As a result, the labor force participation rate — that is, the share of adults who are working or actively looking for work — is just 64.1 percent. The last time the rated dipped below that was in 1983, when women were less likely to be in the labor force.
  • A broader measure of unemployment, including those who are working part time because they can’t find full-time jobs as well as people who have given up looking for work, rose to 16.2 percent from 15.8 percent.
  • The average length of the work week for all private payroll employees fell by 0.1 hour to 34.3 hours in June, a very bad indicator for future job growth. Usually employers start increasing the hours of their existing employees before they bring on new hires.
  • Average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls decreased by 1 cent to $22.99. Again, this does not bode well. Not only are we seeing a jobless recovery, but a wage-gain-less one, too.
  • Hiring in temporary help services was flat. Usually we see a bump in temp hiring that precedes more permanent hiring, so this is a disappointing figure too.

And now, the good news:

  • The number of people who are unemployed because they voluntarily left their jobs rose. So at least people are feeling freer to ditch jobs that they dislike … even if there aren’t better jobs available.

Sorry, that’s all I’ve got. Anybody see anything else uplifting in this report?

Article source: http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=d68bd18c2dd1ccd3370438a0ad7ec054

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