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Editor's Blog

A Good (Not Great) Jobs Report for July

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has released its Employment Situation Summary for the month of July, and it’s a pretty good report.

According to the BLS Establishment Survey, the economy added 163,000 non-farm jobs in July. While still a modest number, this is well above the rate economists say is needed to accommodate an increasing population. With this month’s additions, the number of jobs added to the U.S. economy In 2012 exceeded 1 million for the first time. The economy has added an average of 151,000 jobs each month during 2012. In 2011, the economy added 153,000 jobs per month.

Unfortunately, the rate at which jobs are being added is far below the rate at which jobs were shed during the economic meltdown following the financial crisis. Interestingly, according to the New York Times the
economy is currently producing more goods and services than it did before that downturn, but it’s doing so with 5 million fewer workers than before. Over the course of this recovery, public-sector employment has declined sharply, but in July there was little change.

The new report also revised employment numbers for May and June, but these changes were small and off-setting, producing little change in the total number of jobs added to the economy.

This moderately good report follows a very disappointing HelpWanted Online report from the Conference Board,
which showed that the number of online jobs ads fell by 153,600 in July, compared to June. This decline could well be correlated with a recent decline in corporate profits.

This definitely looks like a recovery, but economists are calling it the weakest economic recovery on record.

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