The Long Slog: The Bureau of Labor Statistics released its anticipated monthly employment report this morning, revealing a modest gain of 83,000 private sector jobs in June and a top-line loss of 125,000 total nonfarm jobs. The Census Bureau laid off 225,000 temporary workers last month who were hired for the 2010 Census, causing the large gap between total and private sector jobs. April and May data were revised slightly higher by 25,000 total jobs and 15,000 private sector jobs. Other key points in the report:
- The unemployment rate fell from 9.7 percent in May to 9.5 percent in June, but this was largely because 652,000 people left the labor force, reducing the labor force participation rate from 65.0 to 64,7 percent. More people became discouraged and stopped looking for work.
- Average hourly earnings and the average workweek length were unchanged indicating that incomes have been slow to ramp up.
The June report reveals a labor market that is expanding slowly, and it confirms other recent economic reports on retail sales, manufacturing and housing showing that the recovery has lost some momentum. Reasons for this include European debt woes, the waning effects of the stimulus, lingering caution on the part of both businesses and consumers, and severe deficit problems in state and local governments.
Private hiring clearly has not yet reached the velocity needed to make the recovery self-sustaining, but the June report does suggest that the labor market and the broader economy continue to move forward. The odds of a double dip recession have increased; the question is being asked more frequently in the current environment than it was a few months ago, but the jury is still out. If the economy continues to lose momentum, then a double dip is more likely. But if the economy can stabilize even at this lower level, the recovery will remain intact. We’ll know more over the next few weeks.
Source, Robert Bach , SVP, Chief Economist , Grubb & Ellis , 312.698.6754