Carolina Journal News Reports
RALEIGH — The nation’s unemployment rate rose slightly in July, to a seasonally adjusted 8.3 percent, even though the employment survey showed the largest seasonally adjusted job gain in five months. The not seasonally adjusted measures of workers and jobs showed slippage between June and July.
The report, issued this morning by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, signaled the 42nd consecutive month the nation’s unemployment rate has exceeded 8 percent. White House Council of Economic Advisers chairman Alan Krueger said the increase should be considered little more than a rounding error. The rate in June was 8.217 percent, while in July it was 8.254 percent.
In seasonally adjusted terms, a net 163,000 jobs were added last month, more than double the gains reported initially for June. The June numbers subsequently have been revised downward, from 80,000 to 64,000.
In not seasonally adjusted or unadjusted terms, the employment report did not offer even mixed news. The unemployment rate rose by 0.2 points, from 8.4 percent to 8.6 percent. The number of employed civilians fell by 76,000 and the number of unemployed rose by 216,000.
The seasonal adjustment calculations are used to estimate how much employment levels and the labor force would have been expected to change if no seasonal factors existed, such as the school year or holiday shopping periods.
The unemployment rate is derived from a survey of households; the job figures come from a separate survey of employers.
Compared with July 2011, the unemployment rate in unadjusted terms has fallen from 9.3 percent to 8.6 percent, but the percentage of the population in the labor force also has fallen, from 64.6 percent in July 2011 to 64.3 percent this year. The number of Americans not in the labor force rose by nearly 2 million over the past year, from 84,859,000 in July 2011 to 86,828,000 this past month.
In unadjusted terms, from February 2009 (the first full month of the Obama administration) through July 2012, the number of civilian U.S. employees has risen by 3.1 million, from 140,015,000 to 143,126,000. Over that period, the number of Americans in the civilian labor force also has risen, from 153,804,000 in February 2012 to 156,526,000 last month.
North Carolina’s unemployment rate in June was 9.4 percent. The state is set to release its July employment report Friday, Aug. 17.
Rick Henderson is managing editor of Carolina Journal.