July 2, 2015

June Employment Situation Summary (070215): 223K Jobs Added; 60K in Prior-Month Downward Revisions; Civilian Workforce Shrinks; Phony Unemployment Rate Drops to 5.3 Percent

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 7:54 am


Not seasonally adjusted benchmarks: Based on reviewing past history, the economy overall needs to actuall add 650,000 jobs before seasonal adjustment, and the private sector needs to see 1.05 million jobs added. If that happens, the seasonal conversions will probably be in the neighborhood of 300,000.

The report will be here at 8:30.

HERE IT IS: And with prior-month writedowns, the news is not very good, despite the fall in the unemployment rate —

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 223,000 in June, and the unemployment rate declined to 5.3 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Job gains occurred in professional and business services, health care, retail trade, financial activities, and in transportation and warehousing.

Household Survey Data

The unemployment rate declined by 0.2 percentage point to 5.3 percent in June, and the number of unemployed persons declined by 375,000 to 8.3 million.

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (4.8 percent), adult women (4.8 percent), and blacks (9.5 percent) edged down in June, while the rates for teenagers (18.1 percent), whites (4.6 percent), Asians (3.8 percent), and Hispanics (6.6 percent) showed little change.

The civilian labor force declined by 432,000 in June, following an increase of similar magnitude in May. The labor force participation rate declined by 0.3 percentage point to 62.6 percent in June. The employment-population ratio, at 59.3 percent, was essentially unchanged in June and has shown little movement thus far this year.

… Establishment Survey Data

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 223,000 in June, compared with an average monthly gain of 250,000 over the prior 12 months. In June, job gains occurred in professional and business services, health care, retail trade, financial activities, and in transportation and warehousing.

Employment in professional and business services increased by 64,000 in June, about in line with the average monthly gain of 57,000 over the prior 12 months. In June, employment continued to trend up in temporary help services (+20,000), in architectural and engineering services (+4,000), and in computer systems design and related services (+4,000).

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for April was revised from +221,000 to +187,000, and the change for May was revised from +280,000 to +254,000. With these revisions, employment gains in April and May combined were 60,000 lower than previously reported. Over the past 3 months, job gains have averaged 221,000 per month.

So the number of people believed to be working June was only 163,000 more than the number believed to be working in May (223K June increase minus 60K in prior adjustments), and the malaise indicators got worse.

More in a bit.

Benchmarks review:
- Overall — Benchmark was 650K, actual was 455K.
- Private Sector — Benchmark was 1.05 mlllion, actual was 893K.

These are big disappointments.

Here’s an up-to-date chart of NSA and SA numbers:


Without detailing the numbers, I think that anyone looking at June results form the previous four years and seeing how they seasonally converted will agree that the seasonally adjusted results could have, and probably should have, come in at about 175K or lower instead of the 223K seen in both metrics.

By the way, the AP anticipated before the report’s released and originally claimed it came out that it would show and did show, respectively, that the job market is “close to full health.” By about 9:15, the wire service had revised their assessment to say that it’s a “mixed picture.” I have saved the three reports, and will probably go after them in a separate column.

Other notes (data is seasonally adjusted unless otherwise indicated):

  • Today’s labor force shrinkage is bad enough. In the past four months, it’s only grown by a negligible 35K.
  • The number of people employed per the Household Survey dropped by 56K.
  • “Not in the labor force hit an all-time high of 93.6 million. The participation rate dropped the to a level last seen in 1977.
  • Full-time employment FELL by 351K. Part-time employment increased by 161K. That’s a net reduction of 190K. If you’re having trouble how that can be when total Household Survey employment fell by only 56K, join the club. Perhaps a surge in multiple job holders (+173K) explains it, but I thought that was an independent stat.
  • U-6 fully-loaded unemployment is supposedly 10.5 percent. No one can possibly believe that.
  • Virtually all of the Establishment Survey jobs pickup was in Services. Goods-producing came in with whopping 1K.
  • The temping of America continues, with 37,000 temps added in the past two months.
  • The supposed expectation for the average workweek was a 0.2-hour pickup. It was unchanged.
  • Average earnings were also unchanged.

Overall, this was a very disappointing report, with little if any indications that the six-year low-participation, low-pay malaise is lifting.

Thursday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (070215)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:05 am

This open thread is meant for commenters to post on items either briefly noted below (if any) or otherwise not covered at this blog. Rules are here.

Positivity: Meet Father Salvatore, the young priest whose life moved the Pope

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Trani, Italy:

Jul 1, 2015 / 12:02 am

The life of Father Salvatore Mellone, who died on Monday, was moving to thousands of people. He was to have at least two more years of seminary when he was diagnosed with terminal cancer, but by special permission and the blessing of Pope Francis, he was ordained nevertheless.

Fr. Mellone, who died June 29 at the age of 38, had been a priest of the Archdiocese of Trani-Barletta-Bisceglie for two and a half months. With his failing health, he was able to say Mass daily, baptize a child, and console the other sick persons at his hospital.

Two days before his April 16 ordination Fr. Mellone received a phone call from Pope Francis. “The first blessing that you’ll give as a priest, you’ll give to me. Salvatore, I’m with you. You ‘ll be ordained and you’ll celebrate Mass,” the Pope assured him over the phone.

At his ordination, Fr. Mellone said, “Today I feel myself carried on the shoulders of Christ; and as a priest I’ll wear the stole with Christ, for the salvation of the world. Moreover, to celebrate just one Eucharist, for me will be a real participation in the priesthood of Christ.”

Fr. Mellone’s funeral Mass was said June 30 by Archbishop Giovanni Battista Pichierri of Trani at Most Holy Cross parish, where the priest was ordained.

A statement from the Trani archdiocese shortly after the priest’s death noted that he had a recurrent expression for “the many people who came to visit him over the last few months: ‘to be a priest is beautiful.’”

“Despite his illness, he always warmly embraced everyone who came to see him. He listened to what everyone had to say. He consoled everyone.” …

Go here for the rest of the story.