Friday, August 5, 2011
The Department of Labor released its July employment figures today. The short version is that they're better than expected, but still far from stellar. The number of jobs increased by 117,000 last month and the unemployment rate decreased slightly to 9.1%, from 9.2% the previous month. The figure was even better in the private sector, which added 157,000 jobs (the public sector is still seeing job cuts). One notably bad figure is the 58.2 labor participation rate, which is the lowest in almost three decades. At the least, the report avoided fanning the stock market panic of yesterday, but it's not turning anything around either.