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Securities Jobs Remain Surprisingly Flat (Aug. 20, 2008)

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Unemployment rates make a new four-year high, as payrolls fall by over 50,000 in July.

This was a negative, but not as bad as the consensus number of 70,000 and coupled with upward revisions to May and June, some saw a glimmer of recovery in this report, says Jeff Testerman of

Securities Industry: Payrolls were down a bit from the previous report by about 2,500 jobs, but this was against an upwardly revised May and June. The bottom line is that employment was relatively flat and remains at historically high levels. So far in 2008, says Testerman, the industry has gained a little over 12,000 jobs for a growth rate hovering around 1.5%; down from previous years, but nevertheless showing surprising strength.

Insurance Industry: Employment in this sector continues to show resilience, as well. Payrolls increased again in July, for the sixth-consecutive month. This brings employment to 2,331,800 workers in this field with July’s increase of over 5,000.

Overall: About the only thing that economists seem to agree upon, he says, is future uncertainty regarding the state of this economy.

To date, 2008 is a year with steadily declining employment reports month after month. The usual suspects led the decline with manufacturing, construction and retail. July’s job performance adds to the total job loss for an eight-month period of 463,000.