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The June Jobs Report

The June jobs report is out. The economy shed jobs – though some of this was a rebalancing of Census jobs added previously. The unemployment rate (people “actively looking for work”) went down to 9.5%.

NY Times: U.S. Economy Shed 125,000 Jobs in June; Rate Is 9.5%,

The United States added just 83,000 private-sector jobs in June, a dishearteningly low number that could add to the growing number of economists who warn that the economic recovery is stalling.

Over all, the nation lost 125,000 jobs, according to the monthly snapshot of the job market released by the Labor Department on Friday. Most of the lost jobs came as temporary workers hired by the federal government to help with the census exited their jobs.

That 83,000 private-sector jobs that were added are not enough to employ around 150,000 new workers who enter the labor pool each month.

Yesterday’s weekly unemployment filings also disappointed, rising 13,000 to 472,000, a high number.

The broader “U-6” rate of underemployed also dropped, to 16.5%. According to the Wall Street Journal report, Broader Unemployment Rate Drops to 16.5%, “the government’s broader measure of unemployment only ticked down 0.1 point to 16.5%.” This is particularly worrisome because,

This month the gap expanded between the official rate and U-6. Mostly that was due to an increase in the number of discouraged workers, considered marginally attached to the labor force. That figure puts a dark cloud on the drop in the national rate. It indicates that many of the people who dropped out of the labor force in June did so because they gave up looking for jobs.

There was a large drop in the number of people looking for work. From the WSJ report,

Both the headline and U-6 rates are based on the number of people in the labor force. When the unemployed drop out of the labor force completely the jobless rate declines. That problem has been exacerbated in the current recession by the large number of people unemployed for a long period of time. About 6.8 million people have been out of a job for more than 27 weeks. This month, despite a 190,000 increase in the population, the number of people in the labor force dropped by 652,000.

Meanwhile Republicans continued to block extending unemployment benefits. WSJ: Expired Benefits Leave Job-Seekers In Bind,

Since that federal aid expired, more than 1 million people have lost benefits. The U.S. Labor Department estimates that 1.7 million will lose benefits by July 3, and a total of more than 3 million could lose benefits by the end of July if an extension isn’t passed.

. . . About 4.92 million jobless workers received extended federal benefits in the week ended June 12, down from 5.30 million in the prior week, on a non-seasonally-adjusted basis, according to the Labor Department. All together, 9.29 million people were collecting some type of unemployment benefits in the week ended June 12, down from 9.66 million in the prior week.

In the last story conservatives complain that unemployment benefits “make workers more selective about the jobs they choose.” Instead of choosing a low-paying, demeaning, humiliating job and minimum wage for an employer who is squeezing workers and pocketing all the profits, the recipients are more able to act like citizens of a democracy.

Note – I am Dave Johnson, and I’ll be sitting in for David Dayen over the long Independence Day weekend. Otherwise you can find me at Campaign for America’s Future, Speak Out California and Seeing the Forest.

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Dave Johnson

Dave Johnson

Principal author at Seeing the Forest.