Nonsequitur: Unemployment at 7.4%

August 2, 2013

Good news: “Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 162,000 in July, and the unemployment rate edged down to 7.4 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment rose in retail trade, food services and drinking places, financial activities, and wholesale trade.”

Bad news: “The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) was essentially unchanged at 8.2 million in July. These individuals were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job. (See table A-8.)

In July, 2.4 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, little changed from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey. (See table A-16.) Among the marginally attached, there were 988,000 discouraged workers in July, up by 136,000 from a year earlier.”

So … we added 162,00 jobs, but about a million people gave up looking for work and over 8 million were forced to take part-time jobs although they wanted full-time.

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