Unemployment Rate Down A Tick (Because People Are Giving Up Search For Jobs)
Last month, when the June jobs report came out showing only 18,000 jobs had been added for the month, many people took it hard. The July report came out and reports the "good news" that the economy added 117,000 jobs. Another 200,000 folks just dropped out of the labor force. This means our unemployment rate is down to 9.1%
It takes about 125,000 jobs a month to keep up with population growth. And if President Obama wants the country to be below 8% unemployment by Nov. 2012, that number needs to be around 225,000 jobs per month. So the numbers mean we're not even stagnant. Or as Ezra Klein put it:
The fact that 85000 jobs were expected doesn't make 117000 good. We're below population growth. We are literally not recovering.
If the labor force participation rate was what it was when Obama took office, the unemployment rate would be at 11-12%.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics servers were unable to keep up with all of the folks trying to click on the job report. That, in itself, is kind of a scary thing.
One of the most personally discouraging figures for me is how long unemployment is going on for certain individuals. Some 44.4% of unemployed Americans -- 6.2 million people -- were out of work for more than six months in July. A chart that shows how long-lasting this unemployment horror is compared to previous downturns in the economy is mind-boggling. You can check it out here.
And let's keep those men and women who are struggling to provide for their families right now in our thoughts and prayers.