Unemployment report:

The job slog: Some still struggle to find work

The job slog: Some still struggle to find work
One day after the U.S. Commerce Department announced robust economic growth, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released ho-hum news: Employers added 209,000 jobs in July, a strong number but smaller than the month before, and the unemployment rate rose a bit to 6.2 percent.

     On July 30, the Commerce Department's Bureau of Economic Analysis announced its advance estimate of gross domestic product growth for the second quarter. The news was good: Real GDP increased at an annual rate of 4 percent -- exceeding market expectations of a 3 percent rise, according to the department. 
     But on the morning of Aug. 1, the Labor Department released far less optimistic news. While the unemployment rate had not significantly increased, job growth was far less robust than in June, which showed an increase of 288,000 jobs.
     Writing in his blog “Work in Progress,” U.S. Labor Secretary Tom Perez was upbeat, pointing out that the report “shows that we’ve now seen six consecutive months with job growth topping 200,000, and 53 consecutive months of private sector job growth – the longest streak on record. Businesses added 209,000 jobs in July, bringing us to a total of 9.9 million since February 2010.”
     But at 6.2 percent, the unemployment rate is a slight increase from the previous month, when the rate was 6.1 percent. Perez wrote that the uptick was "largely due to an increase in labor force participation."
     Even so, for some demographic groups, the road to recovery has been an uphill slog. The unemployment rate for adult women increased to 5.7 percent and the rate for African-Americans edged up to 11.4 percent in July, according to the statistics. In June, the unemployment rate was 5.3 percent for women and the rate for African-Americans was 10.7 percent.
     Other findings from the Bureau of Labor Statistics:
  •  Roughly one-third of those without jobs are considered “long-term unemployed." This means they have been jobless for 27 weeks or more. Approximately 3.2 million Americans fall into this category. On the upside, the number of long-term unemployed has decreased by 1.1 million during the past year.
  •  A number that did not change was the estimated 7.5 million workers employed “part time for economic reasons.” These workers are part time because hours had been cut or they were unable to find full-time employment.
  • Growth occurred in professional and business services, where employers added 47,000 jobs in July. Manufacturers added 28,000 jobs.
  • Retail trade employment rose by 27,000 in July, and construction companies added 22,000 jobs.


     Employment grows in the heat of summer

     Unemployment picture flattens at 6.3 percent