Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Bill Mitchell — US labour market – some improvement but still soft

Last week (June 8, 2016), the US Bureau of Labor Statistics published the latest – Employment Situation – June 2016 – and the data shows that “Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 287,000 in June, and the unemployment rate rose to 4.9 percent” on the back of rising labour force participation. The Household Survey measure showed that employment grew in net terms by 67 thousand (0.04 per cent), which presents a more modest picture than the media reports, that focus on the payroll data, are portraying. Clearly, the 287,000 net jobs added according to the payroll data is a lot better than the 11,000 added according to the same measure in May 2016 (which was revised downwards from 38,000). Further, hours and earnings data suggests a fairly moderate labour market outlook rather than any boom conditions. Broad measures of labour underutilisation also indicate a worsening situation. Underemployment (persons employed part time for economic reasons), which had risen sharply in May (by 468,000) fell by 587 thousand in June, which along with the rising participation rate (a fall in the discouraged workers by 36 thousand), suggests a better state of affairs that was anticipated in May. It remains to be seen whether this renewed jobs growth reduces the bias towards low-pay jobs – which I most recently examined in this blog US jobs recovery biased towards low-pay jobs continues.…
Bill Mitchell – billy blog
US labour market – some improvement but still soft
Bill Mitchell | Professor in Economics and Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), at University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia

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