Friday, August 1, 2008

July Unemployment At 5.7%, Sort Of

The unemployment rate in July rose to 5.7%, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.

Both the number of unemployed persons (8.8 million) and the unemployment rate (5.7%) rose in July. Over the past 12 months, the number of unemployed persons has increased by 1.6 million, and the unemployment rate has risen by 1.0 percentage point. In July, the number of unemployed persons increased by 213,000 over the June number.

Curiously, July is one of the months that the BLS does not add in a significant infamous Birth/Death boost to employment. The average increase over the last 5 months prior to July was 187,600. For July, the BLS added only 4,000 through its Birth/Death Index. Thus, 87% of the increase in unemployment can be attributed to the fact that the BLS did not come anywhere close to adding the average boost of employed workers to the statistics than it does in most other months (December and January being other months where there are no significant add ons.)

Overall,the construction industry continues to be hit hard by the housing crisis. The June unemployment rate in construction stood at 5.9%. In July, it climbed to 8.0%

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