According to Bloomberg, the 18,000 jobs employers added to their payrolls in June was less than a fifth of what economists had expected and far below the 125,000 or so needed to keep up with an ever-growing population. The unemployment rate rose to 9.2 percent from 9.1 percent.
The jobs survey was exceptionally bleak even in its details. Job growth in April and May was revised downward by a combined 44,000 positions. Temporary employers, often a leading indicator of future activity in the labor market, cut 12,000 jobs. And roughly 272,000 Americans dropped out of the labor force, perhaps out of frustration with their job prospects. The unemployment rate would have risen even higher had they continued their job hunts.
A broader measure of unemployment — including those who have given up looking for jobs out of frustration and those with part-time work who want a full-time job — rose to 16.2 percent from 15.8 percent. Washington's unemployment rate was 9.1 percent in May. The June data will be available later this month.
Stimulating our economy to create new jobs and stop the erosion of current job base ought to be JOB #1 for President Obama, Congress and state and local elected officials.
Don C. Brunell, President (DonB@AWB.ORG)