July 6, 2012

Job Growth in June Disappoints, Continues Sluggish Pace

BLS report shows economy adding only 80,000 jobs and an unchanged 8.2% unemployment rate

A woman peruses a jobs board. (Photo: AP) A woman peruses a jobs board. (Photo: AP)

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported on Friday that the U.S. economy added 80,000 jobs in June, leaving the jobless rate unchanged at 8.2%, disappointing analysts and driving the stock market downward even though the data showed that all of the new jobs came from the private sector.

In June, the number of long-term unemployed, meaning those jobless for 27 weeks or longer, was unchanged at 5.4 million, accounting for 41.9% of the unemployed, the BLS reported. The change in payroll employment for May was revised up to 77,000 new jobs from the originally reported 69,000. According to the BLS data, private companies accounted for all of the employment growth, adding 84,000 jobs. Governments, on the other hand, lost a total of 4,000 positions, with the federal work force cutting 7,000 jobs.

Ian Shepherdson, chief U.S. economist for High Frequency Economics Ltd., in Valhalla, N.Y., said in an analyst note that some positive news could be found in June’s temp hiring number, up 25,000, the best since February, as well as the rebound in aggregate hours, up 0.4%.

Yet Shepherdson said the BLS report was an overall letdown.

“The sluggishness of headline payrolls will attract most of the attention,” Shepherdson wrote, “and the pressure on the Fed to take more action will be incrementally ratcheted up. We are inclined still to think that significantly better news is in the pipeline but there can be no question this report is disappointing.”

The U.S. stock markets were lower in afternoon trading, with three major indexes off around 1%.

While economists’ consensus was for 100,000 new jobs, Trim Tabs Investment Research was closer to the mark, having predicted the addition of just 75,000 jobs in June.

“What the market is demanding is not what the BLS is producing,” TrimTabs economist Madeline Schnapp told AdvisorOne on Thursday, noting that the BLS jobs report is based only on survey data rather than the entire population. TrimTabs’ proprietary model, which is based on income tax withholdings deposited daily with the U.S. Treasury, projected a 40% drop from its May estimate of 124,000 jobs.

TrimTabs’ view is that the economy must create at least 150,000 jobs per month to absorb all the new people entering the labor force, but its June numbers suggest the U.S. is adding jobs at just half that rate.

“We think this economy is in a depression,” Schnapp said. “Unemployment for all people unemployed plus the marginally employed [i.e. part-time workers who would prefer full-time employment] is 16%,” Schnapp said.

However, ADP Employer Services released its private payrolls report on Thursday, showing that U.S. companies added 176,000 workers in June. This followed ADP’s revised 136,000 gain in May, which was higher than originally reported.

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Check out Don’t Believe June Jobs Report, TrimTabs Says at AdvisorOne.

Read Real U.S. Job Creators Coming From Unexpected Place at AdvisorOne.

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