Unemployment — Jobless rate stagnant, even as economy improves
July 10, 2013 11:45 PM | 2215 views | 3 3 comments | 55 55 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The June unemployment figures should make many happy — except large borrowers from the government and the 11.8 million unemployed who didn’t get one of the 195,000 jobs created last month.

The unemployment rate, which was a big deal politically leading up to the November election but is rarely mentioned outside of economic circles now, was unchanged at 7.6 percent. That the rate remained static is actually good news because it means workers who had been sitting out the recession are coming back into the job market.

The labor-force participation rate — those with a job or actively looking for one — rose to 63.5 percent, briefly halting a long-term decline from a peak of 67.3 percent in 2000. The decline is as much demographics as economics because much of it is due to baby boomers retiring.

The 195,000 new jobs reflect robust growth. In revised figures, the government said 70,000 more jobs were added in April and May — 50,000 in April, 20,000 in May — than previously reported. It’s likely the June number will be revised upward next month, too. The economy has added an average 202,000 jobs a month for the past six months, meaning fears that the tax hikes at the beginning of the year and the mandatory cuts in federal spending would hurt the job market haven’t materialized, at least as yet.

Average hourly pay rose 10 cents to $24.01, staying well ahead of inflation. Pay rose 2.2 percent over the preceding 12 months while prices rose only 1.4 percent.

Strong unemployment reports always cause a flutter in the bond market because they likely indicate a cutback in the Federal Reserve’s $85 billion-a-month asset-buying program. And bond yields did rise on the jobs report, from 2.56 percent to 2.7 percent, showing that bond buyers at least believe the economic improvement is real.

The Fed’s bond purchases have pumped money into those sectors of the economy that rely heavily on credit, like home purchases and car sales, but the Fed has indicated it will begin winding down the program toward the end of the year and end it altogether on that happy day when unemployment drops to 6.5 percent.

Let’s just hope that’s sooner, rather than later.

Comments-icon Post a Comment
July 11, 2013
It remains, indeed, a slow recovery from the economic collapse caused by the failed Bush presidency. The toll on the American people of the debt funded costs of Bush's wars robbed us of so many useful expenditures on infrastructure and education. Let us hope, as voters, we have learned that who we elect determines our priorities. Lets elect those who choose to invest in our potential and not those who would steal from our future well being.
@ rjsnh
July 11, 2013
It's pathetic to consistently blame Bush.

Iraq & Afghanistan were not Bush's wars.

Approximately 40% of House Democrats and nearly 60% of Senate Democrats supported the "Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002."

Operation Enduring Freedom, is the official name used by the U.S. government for the War in Afghanistan. It was authorized by Congress with 98-0 in the Senate and 420-1 in the House of Representatives.

You might want to brush up on the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA), its multiple revisions, Barney Frank and Chis Dodd's influence with Fannie and Freddy, including Bush's solid attempts to reign in Fannie and Freddy.

Blaming Bush while choosing to ignore the CRA may be convenient for you, yet it's wrong.
July 11, 2013
You forgot to blame him for North Korea and Syria and Cancer and global warming and high gas prices and low CRCT scores and congestion on 75 southbound and....
*We welcome your comments on the stories and issues of the day and seek to provide a forum for the community to voice opinions. All comments are subject to moderator approval before being made visible on the website but are not edited. The use of profanity, obscene and vulgar language, hate speech, and racial slurs is strictly prohibited. Advertisements, promotions, and spam will also be rejected. Please read our terms of service for full guides