Friday, August 3, 2012
Mixed Message on the Labor Front
BLS released its Employment Situation Summary for July. The payroll survey showed an increase in employment of $163 thousand but that unemployment rate rose to 8.3%. So what was the deal from the household survey? Actually the labor force participation rate fell from 63.8% to 63.7% so the small rise in the unemployment rate masks the fact that the employment to population rate fell from 58.6% to 58.4%. The household survey indicates that employment dropped by 195 thousand last month. So I’m sure the political hacks will have lots to debate on this news. But one thing is crystal clear – we are still far below full employment. This Administration and the Federal Reserve need to do a lot more in terms of stimulus. Of course the Republicans are proposing even more fiscal austerity. Go figure!