July Jobs Report: 4 Pieces Of Good News Buried In The Gloom

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The long, slow slog that is improvement in the labor market continued in July, the Labor Department reported Friday. For many job seekers, that means the difficulty many have experienced in landing a new position remains.

As the Labor Department reported, employers added 163,000 jobs last month -- far more than the 100,000 forecast and the biggest gain since February. But the nation's unemployment rate ticked up to 8.3 percent. Those seemingly divergent moves are caused in part by more job seekers reentering the labor market and being counted as unemployed.

What's more, the previous month's ebb in layoffs among government workers resumed in July, with 9,000 job cuts. Subtracting those, the economy added 172,000 private-sector positions. The increase largely mirrors results from payroll-services provider ADP on Thursday, showing private companies added 163,000 jobs in July.

Beyond the loss in government jobs, however, there was little other bad news in Friday's report. Here are the four pieces of good news:

  • Automobile manufacturers had fewer seasonal layoffs in July, adding 12,800 jobs during the month for a total of 789,500. That's up nearly 68,000 from a year ago.
  • Overall, most sectors added jobs. That was true especially in manufacturing, health care and the huge service industry.
  • The number of discouraged workers -- those who have given up looking for work -- dropped by 267,000 compared to a year ago, when more than 1.1 million could be counted as discouraged.
  • The number of long-term unemployed fell. Those out of work for 6 months or more fell by 185,000 or 3.4 percent.

Still, it's worth noting that the economy has a long way to go to solve its employment woes:

  • Three years after the Great Recession ended, about 12.8 million people remain unemployed.
  • Further, the Labor Department report showed that those who've been out of work for 6 months or more, which stands at 5.2 million, still account for 41 percent of all job seekers, despite the slight drop. (AOL Jobs contributor Fran Hopkins, who has been unemployed for more than two years, explains why the long-term employed are having such a tough time here.)
  • While July's job gains were a considerable improvement over the past four months, they were well below the average 252,000 jobs a month added from December through February.

More: No. 1 Way To Jump Start A Stalled Job Search

It's still much too soon to tell whether the country's employment situation will effect President Barack Obama's chances at a second term. As the Associated Press reports, the nation's unemployment rate has been above 8 percent since his first month in office -- the longest stretch on record. No president since World War II has faced re-election with unemployment more than 8 percent.

For job seekers the picture is even murkier. Though employers continue to hire, those working in government still appear vulnerable to job loss as state and local governments struggle to balance budgets.

In the private sector, employers don't yet appear to be hiring in droves. Their reticence may continue well into the fall until after November's elections, as companies stick to their well-worn wait-and-see approach to hiring.






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17 Comments

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whackjobtwo

Just think how much better this country would be without the GOP! I just crack up at this photo of George Bush he looks like Rick Perry on steroids.

August 05 2012 at 9:45 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to whackjobtwo's comment
democracks0

You posted something simliar to this using your Hanlon1212 screen name.

Evans such a dope.

August 06 2012 at 12:37 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
gopgth

States and cities under the thumb of republican traitors are laying off teachers, firefighters, police and other public servants to crush any economic recovery. Wake up America, you are being sold a total crock by FAUX noose and the GOP.

August 04 2012 at 11:37 PM Report abuse -4 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to gopgth's comment
j.doobie

8.4% unemployment and record foreclosures.BO gotta go.

August 05 2012 at 8:26 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
democracks0

Another Obamite who suffers from Foxophobia

August 06 2012 at 12:37 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
gopgth

The GOP in congress is strangling the country. Send willard and the GOP filth in Congress packing - save America.

August 04 2012 at 11:36 PM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to gopgth's comment
democracks0

Nice language there. You must be one of the compassionate liberals I hear about. And have come to realize that it's a myth that liberals are tolerant and compassionate. Or to be blunt a lie!!!!!!!

August 06 2012 at 12:39 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
j.doobie

Hey ! Besides Obumma degrading America's credit rating, he hasn't added one net job on the books. Now ask yourself, DO YOU WANT FOUR MORE YEARS OF THIS ?

August 04 2012 at 3:40 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to j.doobie's comment
richard

YES! No more repubs, no more repubs.......

August 04 2012 at 8:04 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to richard's comment
j.doobie

Go seak counseling. Oh, Wait ur collecting a gubmint check right ? Okay vote again for barry soetoro.Keep your wool nice and clean, use Woolite

August 04 2012 at 8:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down
kafienkarl

2008 5.0 4.9 5.1 5.0 5.4 5.6 5.8 6.1 6.1 6.5 6.8 7.3
2009 7.8 8.3 8.7 8.9 9.4 9.5 9.5 9.6 9.8 10.0 9.9 9.9
The 8.3% represents February 2009. As you can see these numbers represent each month of the years 2008 and 2009. From Novermber(2008)6.8% to February(2009) 8.3%. That's a huge increase in unemployment numbers in a very short amount of time. This hasn't been seen for decades. Look at February 2008 and below February 2009 almost doubled from 4.9% to 8.3%. But I realize there are people that really believe the president can change the unemployment numbers instead of the private sector. This economic mess is much more complicated then Obama. I look at the banks and corporations also but people here think/believe they do no wrong is easier to put all the blame on Obama which is ridiculous. Listen to economists they discuss and explain the economy beyond Obama. Most of them say what happened in 2007 up to mid 2009 will take years to recover from. Now we are being told the moderate mormon elitest has all the answers. Yup the CEO of an equity firm that was part of the outsourcing strategy but only that has swiss bank accounts and tax havens. Not only that the guy is a dweeb ask Gingrich and Santorum. Oh yeah Ron Paul said he isn't conservative. I've spoken to (r) who will not vote for him because he bought the candidacy and is little different then Obama. Some are evangelicals that won't vote for a mormon. Not sure how the military veterans feel about a guy that went to France instead of Vietnam during the war of the 60's.

August 04 2012 at 11:21 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to kafienkarl's comment
j.doobie

So tell us again Karl why you need so many screen names to belt out this same stupid SH,lT you've been spewing since Obumma got elected ?
I think you need your wool sheered.

August 04 2012 at 4:31 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
Setanta

and within this stat--how many retirees created these openings and don't misunderstand me either--how many deceased ?

August 04 2012 at 2:28 AM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
raydelv

We have seen 41 months of unemployment at 8 percent or higher. The first time unemployment numbers get revised to a higher number every time. Last week went up about 16,000. What ever job gains are made they are lost in the first time unemployment numbers. You don't have to be a Harvard Grad to see that if the unemployment is above 8 percent things are not getting better.

August 04 2012 at 12:13 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
croone22

Stop the BS. The job market is still in a shambles. Your stats concerning the long term unemployed are fabrications not supported by real numbers. And you know what you can do with your Dept. of Labor numbers.We are heading for another recession and Obama doesn't have a clue as to how to fix it. And if Wall Street thinks the worst is over,they're in denial. And 401K money is not going to keep the market up much longer. We better elect Romney or the ball game is over.

August 03 2012 at 11:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ebeth Martine

How many ways can you say "Spin" on this report!
"fewer seasonal layoffs," "most sectors added jobs," "number of discouraged workers...dropped," "number of long-term unemployed fell."
Those are nebulous statements- What constitutes 'seasonal' layoffs? July is in the middle of summer. Seasonal layoffs- e.g., related to the family vacation/tourism cycle, probably won't really happen until August/September time frame. And the next nebulous term- "most sectors added jobs" includes the service industry which usually adds jobs during that same family vacatin/tourism cycle.
"Discouraged workers" and "long-term unemployed," - most of the data came from a payroll processing firm- I seriously doubt if that is the best source of knowing whether someone is seriously looking for a job, has run out of options, has run out of unemployment benefits, etc.
The entire article is a piece of clap-trap double speak!

August 03 2012 at 1:45 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
joey

Nobody is listening to you're B.S. NOBAMA GONE 2012

August 03 2012 at 12:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply