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With No Strong Growth, Employment Rate Remains Low

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Written by Dean Baker   
Friday, 05 August 2011 10:25

The economy created 117,000 jobs in July, knocking the unemployment rate back down to 9.1 percent, according to the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics employment report. While this may sound like good news, the decrease in unemployment was entirely attributable to people leaving the labor force, with the employment-to-population ratio falling slightly to 58.1 percent. Also in the latest report, the Labor Department revised growth in prior months up to an average of 72,000 jobs a month in the last three months, which is still below the level needed to keep pace with the growth of the labor force.

Overall the latest report presents a bleak picture of the labor market. There is no sector showing especially strong growth right now, and with the government shedding 30,000 jobs a month, we will be fortunate if the unemployment rate doesn’t rise over the rest of the year.

For more information, check out our latest Jobs Byte.

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