The monthly tally makes no distinction between full-time and part-time jobs, nor does it consider how much those jobs pay or provide in non-wage benefits compared with the ones that have been lost. June is also tough for the BLS to measure accurately because of the large number of youth who enter the job market that month.
The 175,000 jobs gain the BLS reported for May was revised to 195,000. Gains in April were revised from 149,000 to 199,000.
In addition to the headline unemployment rate—known at the BLS as U3—another BLS metric known as U6 includes part-time workers who need full-time work but can't find it, and a portion of "discouraged workers." U6 for June was 14.3 percent, up sharply from 13.8 percent in May. That is the highest level since February.
The civilian labor force participation ratio rose to 63.5 percent, still its lowest level since 1979; the employment-population ratio rose to 58.7 percent. If the participation rate had remained at the pre-recession level, the unemployment rate would now be 9.6 percent. Some 36.7 percent of the 11.7 million people who are officially unemployed—4.3 million—have been out of a job for 27 weeks or more. Those long-term unemployed represent 2.8 percent of the labor force. Before this recession, the highest these numbers had ever reached in 65 years were 26.0 percent and 2.6 percent, respectively. That occurred 30 years ago, in June 1983.
While overall job growth has remained in positive territory, a recovery that reduces unemployment and lures discouraged people back into the labor force still demands faster economic growth that we've been seeing. In an economy that had already recovered, the 195,000 gain in jobs reported for June would be ample. But it is well below the 250,000 to 300,000 added jobs needed each month for a vigorous recovery given how deep a plunge occurred.
Josh Bivens and Heidi Shierholz at the Economic Policy Institute pointed out Wednesday:
[J]ob growth in the current recovery is slightly stronger than the job growth following the recession of 2001. However, it is slower than in the prior two recoveries and is in fact slower than in any other previous recovery dating back to World War II. Furthermore, jobs fell much further and faster during the Great Recession than in any other recession over that period, meaning that we are stuck in a much larger jobs-hole four years into recovery than in any previous business cycle. The fact that four years into the recovery we still have not yet come close to making up the jobs lost in the downturn, (much less the jobs needed to keep up with growth in the potential workforce over that time), is a grimmer situation than anything our labor market has seen in seven decades.
A report by Automated Data Processing on Wednesday put the seasonally adjusted increase in June at 188,000 private jobs, the best gain ADP has reported since February.
Here's what the job growth numbers looked like in May for the previous 10 years. These data have been recalculated via the BLS's benchmark revisions:
June 2003: - 3,000
June 2004: + 78,000
June 2005: + 246,000
June 2006: + 80,000
June 2007: + 80,000
June 2008: - 169,000
June 2009: - 472,000
June 2010: - 130,000
June 2011: + 209,000
June 2012: + 87,000
June 2013: + 195,000
Among other news in today's job report:
• Professional services: + 53,000
• Leisure & hospitality: + 75,000
• Health care: + 20,000
• Retail trade: + 37,000
• Financial activities: + 17,000
• Construction: + 13,000
• Average workweek (for production and non-supervisory workers) was unchanged at 34.5 hours.
• Average manufacturing hours rose 0.1 to 40.9 hours.
• Average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls was up 10 cents from May's revised figure to $24.01.
The BLS jobs report is the product of a pair of surveys, one of more than 410,000 business establishments called Current Employment Statistics, and one called the Current Population Survey, which questions 60,000 householders each month. The establishment survey determines how many new jobs were added. It is always calculated on a seasonally adjusted basis determined by a frequently tweaked formula. The CPS provides data that determine the official "headline" unemployment rate, the one denoted as "U3." That's the number which is now 7.6 percent.•••
The BLS report only provides a snapshot of what's happening at a single point in time.
It's important to understand that the jobs-created-last-month-numbers that it reports are not "real." Not because of a conspiracy, but because statisticians apply formulas to the raw data, estimate the number of jobs created by the "birth" and "death" of businesses, and use other filters to fine-tune the numbers. And, always good to remember, in the fine print, they tell us that the actual number of newly created jobs reported is actually plus or minus 100,000.
This chart shows the civilian population-to-employment ratio up through June 2013.