This was not the employment report either the American worker or the Obama campaign wanted to see right now. The Labor Department said the U.S. economy created just 80,000 jobs in June, less than the 90,000 economists had been forecasting. And private-sector job growth was just 84,000, down sharply from 105,000 in May. Not doing fine.
The unemployment rate stayed at a lofty 8.2%.
As a research note from RDQ economics put it: “The good news is that employment growth is not slowing further but there is no sign of it picking up either. At this pace, job creation is not fast enough to lower the unemployment rate with the labor force growing at close to 150,000 per month on average.” Shorter: Stagnation Nation
This continues to be the longest streak — 41 months — of unemployment of 8% or higher since the Great Depression. And recall that back in 2009, Team Obama predicted that if Congress passed its $800 billion stimulus plan, the unemployment rate would be around 5.6% today.
Just 75,000 jobs were created, on average, per month in the second quarter vs. 226,000 in the first quarter. And for the year, monthly job creation has averaged just 150,000 vs. 153,000 last year. Both numbers are extremely weak.
But those top-line numbers actually overstate the health of the labor market.