The US Bureau of Labor Statistics issued a statement that shows total nonfarm payroll employment declining by 131,000 in July 2010, and the unemployment rate remaining unchanged at 9.5 percent. The decline in employment is the result of federal government census workers wrapping up their work.
However, a bright spot in the report exists as private-sector payroll employment increased by 71,000. This is welcome news given the country was shedding over 750,000 jobs per month as the Obama administration took office in early 2009. US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office recently highlighted, in what has become affectionately known as the “bikini graph,” the dramatic difference in the economic output between the Bush and the Obama administrations.
The graph below (which the Speaker’s Office hasn’t updated to reflect July, 2010 data) shows that since December 2009, 671,000 private sector jobs have been created over 7 straight months, a distinct improvement since December 2008, the beginning of the US recession.
The rise in private sector employment also coincides with increasing levels of private investment. The US Bureau of Economic Analysis recently reported that real GDP grew by 2.4 percent during the 2nd quarter of 2010.
While both of these signs suggest that the US economy appears to be gaining some traction there is discouraging news in the labor department’s report as well; the percent of unemployed remains high and the number and percent of the long term unemployed gets worse. I’ll discuss these two issues in my next blog.
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