Friday, August 3, 2012

US Employment Update

The US added 163,000 jobs in July, a good number but not fantastic. [BLS report is here] This is what counts for good news however in this moribund recovery.  I a previously 'normal' recovery we should be seeing 250,000 new jobs by now, but this is the new normal.  The unemployment rate ticked up to 8.3% but this is inconsequential, what matters now is new jobs.

The Wall Street Journal has an interesting note about warm winter weather and the lingering depressing effect on job gains in the spring (from which this graph is taken):
The unusual weather spanning 2011′s close and the starting months of this year is widely believed to have disrupted economic activity in a way that goosed up all manner of data at the start of the year. The unexpected weakness that began to emerge in the numbers from the spring forward has been at least partially attributable to some give back from accelerated gains that marked 2012′s opening months, in the view of many.
Perhaps but job gains were not affected so much that it would make a substantial difference.

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