The U.S. Employment Situation Summary issued this morning by the Bureau of Labor Statistics reveals a labor market running not quite fast enough to stay in place.
The headline numbers appear contradictory: a reduction of 0.2% in the unemployment rate, to 9.5%, and a net loss of 125,000 new jobs. But the more meaningful number is 83,000, the number of new jobs added by the private sector. This was offset by the expected end of 200,000+ temporary census jobs. The best-performing category was professional and business services, which added 46,000 jobs. The unemployment rate is measured by the BLS Household Survey, while new-job growth is determined by the BLS Establishment Survey.
The rate of growth in private-sector jobs is just below the median of what economists had predicted; predictions ranged from around 20,000 private-sector jobs up to about 200,000, with a median of about 110,000, according to the New York Times. Economists say that the U.S. economy needs to produce about 100,000 jobs each month to accommodate the growth in the working-age population.
There was a substantial gender difference in the household survey results: Unemployment among adult women improved by 0.3%, to 7.8%, while the rate for adult men worsened by 0.1%, to 9.9%.
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