Which way is up?

Therese Dunphy

July 9, 2012

According to the June jobs report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor, the overall employment rate remains unchanged at 8.2 percent. The construction market added 2,000 jobs in June. The mining industry, however, lost 2,700 with 1,200 of those jobs coming from the coal-mining sector. 

Overall, businesses added 64,000 jobs, while governments cut 4,000. For the first quarter, 226,000 jobs were added to the U.S. economy.

The numbers were a disappointment for the Obama Administration. Economic analysts had anticipated growth of nearly 100,000 jobs in the private sector.

The news was even equally disheartening for those who have been out of work for extended periods. The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was flat at 5.4 million, with this sector accounting for nearly 42 percent of the unemployed.

Minor improvements were seen in the average workweek at private firms, which edged up by 0.1 hour to 34.5 hours in June. The manufacturing workweek also increased by 0.1 hour to 40.7 hours. Average hourly earnings increased by 6 cents to $23.50, with average hourly earnings having increased by 2.0 percent over the year.

Keith Hall, former BLS commissioner and an economist at George Mason University, said the numbers are not enough for real recovery. In a report in The Hill, he said, “Job growth hasn’t improved at all since the Great Recession, because the real unemployment is still lagging at around 13 percent.”

No president, since FDR, has been re-elected with a jobless rate above 8 percent, The Hill reports.

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