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Practice Management > Building Your Business

Hope for a Stronger Second Half

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The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that non-farm payroll employment continued to decline in June (down 467,000 jobs), reports Jeff Testerman of “This was a disappointing increase in job loss after May’s relatively benign report,” Testerman says.

There were a few bright spots, though, including the upwardly revised employment numbers for April and May which added 40,000 jobs. Moreover, when viewed on a quarterly basis, the trend is improving: During the second quarter of 2009, 1.3 million jobs were lost vs. 2.1 million jobs in the first quarter of the year.

Job losses were widespread across the major industry sectors, with large declines occurring in manufacturing, professional and business services, and construction.

The unemployment rate (9.5 percent) was little changed in June, according to Testerman. Since the start of the recession in December 2007, the number of unemployed persons has increased by 7.2 million, and the unemployment rate has risen by 4.6 percentage points.

Securities Industry

Employment declines in the securities field moderated in June with only about 500 jobs lost. Plus, revisions to the last few months added 8,000 more jobs to preliminary numbers that were reported earlier.

“This is welcome news indeed as the pace of decline suggesting a bottoming-out of the job market in our industry gives hope for a stronger second half of 2009,” notes Testerman

Likewise, in the larger sector of finance and insurance (which includes banks, insurance and securities firms), jobs were actually added for the first time since June of 2008.

While an increase of only 5,000 jobs in these large industries of over 5.76 million workers is hardly worthy of a big celebration, it is at the very least a welcome respite from the staggering monthly job losses of the past year, he says. “We are hopeful that this signals better times to come!”


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