|– It's the clearest sign yet the recession is finally ending: Employers laid off far fewer workers in July, the jobless rate dipped for the first time in 15 months and workers' hours and pay edged upward.|
Those are the kind of figures that could give Americans the psychological boost necessary for recovery to take root after the worst recession since World War II.
A net total of 247,000 jobs were lost last month, the fewest in a year and a drastic improvement from the 443,000 that vanished in June.
The Labor Department's report Friday showed that the unemployment rate dropped a notch to 9.4 percent in July, from 9.5 percent the previous month. Together with slight increases in the average workweek and wages, the new figures suggested the economy is in a transition from recession to recovery.
"The worst may be behind us," President Barack Obama declared. "Today, we're pointed in the right direction."
This is a horrible lie and proves AP is acting cheerleader for Obama since most people will read the opening paragraphs and papers usually do a chop job to fit in print or even their own sites. Don't believes check around on google news for this same article on various web sites and see how much editing is done. But at the bottom, AP buries the really story.
|Analysts say companies will keep cutting jobs probably through the rest of this year, though the pace of layoffs should continue to taper off. The beginnings of recovery could actually push the unemployment rate higher, since far more people would be energized to look for work again.|
In fact, the main reason the unemployment rate declined last month was not an inspiring one: Hundreds of thousands of people, some discouraged by their failed job searches, left the labor force. The labor force includes only those who are either employed or are looking for work.
If laid-off workers who have given up looking for new jobs or have settled for part-time work are included the unemployment rate would have been 16.3 percent in July. All told, 14.5 million were out of work in July.
Job-seekers are finding it harder to get work because there are so few openings. A record 4.97 million people had been unemployed six months or longer in July. And the average length of unemployment grew to 25.1 weeks, also a record.
Former secretary of labor Robert Reich who I have zero love for says the same thing.
|The economy is getting worse more slowly. That's just about the only clear reading that's coming from the economic reports, including this morning's important one on employment. The pace of job losses slowed -- payrolls fell by 247,000, after a 443,000 loss in June, and the official jobless rate dropped from 9.5 to 9.4 percent.|
Be careful with these figures, though. They don't include the increasing numbers of people working part-time who'd rather have full-time jobs. Nor do they include a large number who have given up looking for work. They don't reflect the many millions who have found new jobs that pay less than the old ones they lost. And they don't include one of the shortest typical workweeks on record, for those who still have full-time jobs. (On this score, though, another indication that things are worsening more slowly -- the workweek went up very slightly from 33 hours.) Nor, for that matter, do the numbers reflect the 130,000 people who are coming into the labor force each month ready and willing to work, who can't find jobs.
If all these people are included, my estimate is that one out of five Americans who would otherwise be working full-time are now underemployed. We are still experiencing the biggest decline of any post-World War II economic slump.
.....Yet -- here's another important thing to watch -- job losses continue to outpace that contraction. In other words, employers are using this downdraft to lay off more workers, proportionately, than they have since the Great Depression. The late economist Arthur Okun, after reviewing economic history, once pronounced a rule of thumb that every 2 percent drop in economic growth generates a 1 percent rise in unemployment. This time, that rule has been broken: The fall in growth has resulted in a much greater rise in unemployment. And if underemployment is figured in, a truly astonishing rise.