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U.S. unemployment in July 2009: 9.4%

Although nonfarm payroll employment continued to decline in July with a loss of 247,000 jobs, the unemployment RATE actually declined slightly, from 9.5% in June to 9.4% in July. The number of jobs lost in July (-247,000) was substantially fewer than the 467,000 reported lost in June. The average monthly job loss for May through July 2009 (-331,000) was about half of the average monthly job loss (-645,000) for November 2008 through April 2009. The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for May was revised from -322,000 to -303,000, and the change for June was revised from -467,000 to -443,000.

The report cites the following unemployment rates for various groups:

“Among the major worker groups, unemployment rates for adult men (9.8 percent), adult women (7.5 percent), teenagers (23.8 percent), whites (8.6 percent), blacks (14.5 percent), and Hispanics (12.3 percent) were little changed in July. The unemployment rate for Asians was 8.3 percent, not seasonally adjusted.”

The number of long-term unemployed (27 weeks or more) increased by 584,000 in July, to 5.0 million people. One in three of the unemployed people in July were among the long-term unemployed.

“Involuntary part-time workers” (persons working part-time for economic reasons) was little changed in July at 8.8 million people. The numbers of this group of workers rose sharply in the fall and winter but has changed little for four consecutive months.

Around 2.3 million persons were “marginally attached to the work force,” 709,000 more than a year ago (not seasonally adjusted). These people wanted and were available for work and had looked for a job in the previous 12 months, but were not counted as unemployed, since thay had not looked for work in the four weeks before the survey. These people who were marginally attached to the work force included 796,000 discouraged workers in July (up by 335,000 over the past 12 months), who are not looking for work because they believe that no jobs are available for them.

Detailed text information and tabular statistics are provided in the report for various employment areas, as well as comparisons of numbers and rates over time. Here is a brief summary:

  • Construction – employment declined by 76,000 in July.
  • Manufacturing – employment declined by 52,000 in July; there is a breakdown in the report.
  • Retail trade – employment declined by 44,000 in July.
  • Wholesale trade – employment declined by 19,000 in July.
  • Professional and business services – employment declined by 38,000 in July.
  • Transportation and warehousing – employment declined by 22,000 in July.
  • Financial activities – employment declined by 13,000 in July.
  • Information – employment declined by 16,000 in July, including publishing and telecommunications.
  • Health care – employment INCREASED by 20,000 in July.

Although job losses are still occurring, the numbers and rates of job losses in a number of areas is either staying the same or improving. Please check the report for detailed information about particular areas of interest.

Hang in there!

-Bill at Cheshire Cat Photo™

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