Today’s Job Numbers

by Kathryn Jean Lopez

Doug Holtz-Eakin comments:

The June jobs report is a third consecutive disappointment.

 •    Non-farm job creation in May was only 80,000; 84,000 in the private sector, while payroll employment growth for March and April was not revised substantially.

 •    The unemployment rate held steady at an elevated 8.2 percent.

•    The Hispanic unemployment rate, a critical electorate, stalled at 11.0 percent.

•    Job growth was more narrowly focused on a fewer segments of the economy – notably professional and business services (47,000 jobs).

•    Hours, earnings, and payrolls rose, recovering from recent declines.  A stronger, continued rise in hours and earnings will be needed to support family incomes and accelerate a very weak recovery in real, disposable income.

In short, for the third straight month there were too few jobs.  Unlike the past two months, this was not a complete disaster as the labor force, hours, and wages rose in June. 

Data junkies here’s your fix: the June U-6 (the broadest measure of unemployment) was 14.9 percent, up from 14.8 in May. 

The bottom line: The April jobs report was awful, May very weak, and June a disappointment.  The bad news continues, which is especially troubling given the downside risks from Europe, the impending fiscal cliff, and the downshift in the global economy.