Friday, August 6, 2010

Employment -131,000 With Census, Up +71,000 For Private Payrolls

From the BLS:

Total nonfarm payroll employment declined by 131,000 in July, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 9.5 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Federal government employment fell, as 143,000 temporary workers hired for the decennial census completed their work. Private-sector payroll employment edged up by 71,000.

Here are charts of the relevant data:

The unemployment rate has stalled in the 9.5%-10% range for a little over a year. Remember that is the last two recoveries we had similar problems after the recession ended. While the unemployment rate was lower coming out of both recession, the unemployment rate rose for about a year after both.

The pace of job growth would have been positive for the last two months without the census firings. That being said, the pace of job growth -- while positive -- has been tepid for the last two months after a period of acceleration.

The labor force participation rate -- the percentage of people actually part of the labor force was unchanged at 64.6%, but this number has decreased .6% since April.

The household survey showed a decline of 159,000 jobs.

Goods producing was up 33,000.

Private sector growth was up 38,000.

On a scale of 1-10, I'd give this report a 3.5. While positive, it's clear the pace of hiring is slowing and needs to accelerate for the recovery to gain steam.