July’s Unemployment Research Notes

by Jim Baird on August 6, 2010

Just as we saw a bit of softening in the pace of growth in recent months, we also see a labor market that appears to be stuck in second gear.

The massive number of jobs lost in the so-called “Great Recession” easily dwarfed the losses in other recent recessions in the United States.  We continue to have a mixed view of the labor markets:  positive in that private job creation is continuing to occur, but at a pace that falls well below what is needed to inspire confidence and meaningfully chip away at the unemployment rate.

Overall, today’s report can be viewed as another incremental building block on the trend of recent months once the distortion from the elimination of temporary census jobs is accounted for.

There are some comparative bright spots in today’s report, but they are scattered amid the larger, lackluster jobs picture.

The trend is positive, but the pace is weaker than is needed, very much indicative of a slow growth economy.

The duration of joblessness for those on the unemployment roll is improving.  The percentage of unemployed individuals who have been jobless for more than twenty-six weeks has started to drift lower.

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