Only 247,000 Jobs Lost In July

Only 247,000 Jobs Lost In July


And the unemployment rate dropped to 9.4%.

This is pretty significant for a few reasons.

First, there’s just the psychological effect of 10% unemployment. The media had been positioning that as the dreaded magic number and now it appears that we’ll never reach it.

Second, economists projected 325,000 job losses for July, so coming in 80,000 below is incredibly encouraging.

Third, we lost 545,000 jobs in April, 532,000 in May, 443,000 in June, and now 247,000 in July. Obviously we’re headed in the right direction.

Still, as the NY Times points out, people are hurting…

Karen Triplett, 61, of Atlanta, lost her job in advertising sales in February and said she has been hitting wall after wall as she looks for work. The only job offer she received, she said, turned out to be a scam.

“It’s dismal to say the least,” she said. “I went from making $60,000 a year to $1,100 a month unemployment. I’ve got two friends who have already lost their houses. I’m struggling just to make sure my house note is met.”

Ms. Triplett said she worked nearly full-time since she was a teenager — as a secretary at a bank, a tobacco company and a television station, as a flight attendant, and selling advertising. She raised two children, bought a house, paid her bills on time and had a credit score of 878. Now, she is trying to stretch her unemployment checks far enough to cover her costs and struggling to pay her credit-card bills.

“I’m beyond down to basics,” Ms. Triplett said. “My daughter’s tried to help me. My son has given me money. But what I can’t do, I can’t do.”

So while we’re not adding jobs yet, I can’t help but think we’re only a few months away from that.

Fingers crossed.

  • Tully

    Only 247,000 Jobs Lost In July And the unemployment rate dropped to 9.4%

    Hmm, Lost more jobs yet the unemployment rate went down? Amazing. The numerator grew by 247K, so how is this possible? I sense a disturbance in the math … I better go check that story.

    Moreover, in July the workforce fell by 422,000, far more than the 155,000 decline in June, suggesting jobless workers may have given up looking for new work. Since the start of the recession in December 2007, the economy has shed 6.7 million jobs, the department said, adding that the number of long-term unemployed continues to rise.

    Ah, yes. That would be the missing information. But I’ll go check the actual government report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics just to be sure.

    … the unemployment rate was little changed at 9.4 percent … about 2.3 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force in July, 709,000 more than a year earlier … these individuals, who were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey.

    To translate: The only reason the UE rate figure did not rise was that the BLS removed a number of the long-term unemployed from their calculations. Those people are still unemployed, they’re just not being counted for calculating the rate, and there are 700K more of them now than this time last year. Were they included in the UE rate calculation, the UE rate would register about 10.4%.

  • Paul

    Talking about lost jobs is like selling snake oil. The Obama administration wants put put a pretty face on it. The Republicans have their agenda too. Both camps use the doctrine of SPIN. And the workers take the hit !! Same as it ever was !

  • Tully

    Yep. Same as it ever was.

  • Jim S

    Always look at U6. U3 is a joke number. I mean, it dropped all the way to 16.3% in July.

  • Simon

    In August, Justin wrote:

    First, there’s just the psychological effect of 10% unemployment. The media had been positioning that as the dreaded magic number and now it appears that we’ll never reach it.

    Now that we have reached it, perhaps you could tell us more about this psychological effect?