Explaining Southern California's economy

July jobs report: The U.S. economy is showing a pulse

Job Seekers  Meet With Recruiters At Job Fair

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Job seekers wait in line to enter a San Francisco Hirevent job fair. The Labor Department today released its employment report for July.

The Labor Department has just released its July jobs report, and the news is moderately good. The U.S. economy added 163,000 jobs in July, beating the expectations of many economists. The unemployment rate nationally ticked up very, very slightly, to 8.3. percent from 8.2 percent. More than anything, that's probably a reflection of the 100,000-plus number, which indicates that people are coming back into the workforce, although not in droves.

More workers seeking work means that workers are optimistic about getting a job, but that has the superficially negative effect of raising the total number of unemployed people.

[UPDATE: Actually, as Jared Bernstein notes, the June-July rate change was 8.22 to 8.25, which compelled a round-up to 8.3 percent. No meaningful statistical change there.]

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June jobs report: Better than May, but still disappointing

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

A job seeker pauses as he fills out an application during a career fair in Concord, California.

No "surprise to the upside." The June jobs report is out from the Labor Department and the news isn't as good as many observers had hoped when some positive employment data came out yesterday. The U.S. added only 80,000 new private-sector jobs, well below the 176,000 that payroll processor ADP reported. The unemployment rate remains 8.2 percent.

Last month's gloomy 69,000 new-jobs figure was revised up slightly, to 77,000 (and April's numbers were revised down). But otherwise the words "unchanged" and "essentially unchanged" define the June report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). We still have 12.7 million unemployed Americans and 5.4 million Americans β€” an alarming 42 percent of the total β€” who are classified as "long-term unemployed," or out of work for 27 weeks or more.

A 100,000-plus June report would have been welcome at this juncture, even though job creation at that level would be far below what the country needs for the recovery to pick up steam. For that to happen, we need to add 300-400,000 new jobs each month.

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Veterans Day: Remember our warriors β€” but give them jobs!

John Rabe

Veteran's/MIA park at Cypress and Pepper in Cypress Park. Nov 8, 2011.

This Veterans Day is remarkable for more than just the unique date: 11.11.11. It should be remembered, or perhaps etched in out minds with acid, because it's taking place in the context of horrific national unemployment. If you're one of the 14 million American currently without a job, be... thankful that you're not a young vet.

This is from an excellent Businessweek blog post on the topic:

Dig...into the pages of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics employment data and it becomes apparent that while the job market is slowly improving for most Americans, it’s moving in the opposite direction for Gulf War II vets (defined by the BLS as those on active duty since 2001). The youngest of veterans, aged 18 to 24, had a 30.4 percent jobless rate in October, way up from 18.4 percent a year earlier. Non-veterans of the same age improved, to 15.3 percent from 16.9 percent. For some groups, the numbers can look a good deal worse: for black veterans aged 18-24, the unemployment rate is a striking 48 percent.

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