July 2014 Employment Report by Bruce Steinberg

Employment Situation (July 2014) published by Bruce Steinberg

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Quick Recap

The July jobs and employment report can be summed up in one word and that word would be “disappointing.”

The unemployment rate incrementally increased, which the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics characterized as  “little changed,” to 6.2 percent in July; it was 6.1 percent in June and 7.3 percent a year ago in July 2013. For more detail, see the “Household Survey” section at the bottom of this column.

On the other side of the monthly employment situation, the total number of jobs was up 209,000 in most sectors, which clearly is a disappointment from the previous month’s increase of 298,000. The July 2014 number was the weakest since March when the economy only added 203,000 jobs but still better than a year ago in July 2013 when 149,000 jobs were added.

Jobs Report

Total private-sector jobs grew by only 198,000 in July, was a fairly hard deceleration from June’s growth of 270,000 and even May’s addition of 228,000. However, a year earlier in July 2013, the private-sector only grew by 170,000.

At least the private Goods-producing sector put in a pretty good performance with growth of 58,000 jobs in July compared to growth of 38,000 in June and 26,000 in May.

  • The pace of hammering together more jobs in the Construction sector picked up with growth of 22,000 new jobs in July compared to an increase of 10,000 in the previous month.
  • Manufacturers also added more new jobs in July (up 28,000) than in June (up 23,000). Job growth remained durable in Durable goods that added 30,000 in July, which was better than the 21,000 added in June as well as in May. Nondurable goods continued to drift with a decline of 2,000 in July after adding 2,000 in June and declining by 6,000 in May.
  • Mining and logging brought 8,000 more jobs up into the economy in July, with the Support activities for mining portion of the mining sub-sector responsible for a majority of those new jobs; in June, Mining and logging added 5,000.

The private Service-providing sector really hit the brakes slowing to only 140,000 more jobs in July after adding 232,000 in June; in July 2013 it added 175,000.

  • The Retail trade sector rang up 26,700 more jobs in July that was not as good than the 41,200 it added in June as well as being considerably weaker than the 48,400 it added in July 2013.
  • The pace at Wholesale trade slowed as well with growth of only 2,700 in July after adding 14,200 in June and also much weaker than the 11,700 it added in July 2013.
  • The Transportation and warehousing sector also added fewer jobs in July (up 7,900) than in June (up 14,800), but improved over the July 2013 decline of 8,200 jobs.
  • Financial activities employers still had some interest to add to its payrolls with 7,000 more jobs in July after adding 17,000 the previous month; in July 2013, they added 16,000.
  • The Professional and business services sector’s growth slowed to only 47,000 new jobs in July after adding 73,000 in June; in July 2013, it was up 51,000.. Computer systems design and related services added 3,900 jobs in July that was a little better than the 2,700 added by Management and technical consulting services; Architectural and engineering services, which sits about in the middle of those two in terms of the total number of jobs, added 8,800 jobs.
  • The Education and health services sector added a total of 17,000 jobs in June with the sector’s highly seasonal Educational services sub-sector declining by 8,000. Therefore, growth in the Health care and social assistance portion was 25,400 in June, which was off from the 32,700 jobs it grew by in June but a big improvement from July 2013 when it added only 11,700 jobs. Home health care services was up by 5,200 in July, which was only slight off June’s growth of 5,800.
  • New hiring in the Leisure and hospitality sector slightly tapered off with 21,000 more jobs in July after adding 23,000 in June, which was the same amount it added in July 2013.

The total number of Government jobs was up by 11,000. The federal government neither added nor removed any jobs so it was zero [make your own joke — ed.]; State government was down by 1,000; and Local government increased by 12,000.

Temporary Help Services Roundup

Although Temporary Help Services continued to grow and reach new highs, the rate of growth continued to slow.

In July, Temporary help services was up 8,500 to 2,880,900, which was a 0.3 percent month-over-month increase and year-over-year growth of 8.1 percent.

In June, the job number was up 13,900, or 0.5 percent sequentially and up 8.2 percent year-on-year; in May, temporary help added 14,500 jobs, which was also 0.5 percent sequential growth and up 8.5 percent year-on-year.

Temporary help service’s market share — that is its portion of all jobs — continued to inch up and reached an all-time high of 2.073 percent in July compared to 2.070 percent in June; it was 1.953 percent in July 2013.

Bruce Steinberg


Household Survey

The July 6.2 percent unemployment rate was a 0.1 percent rise from June’s 6.1 percent; it was 7.3 percent in July 2013

That 6.2 percent unemployment rate was the result of a labor force that grew by 329,000 as the number of employed persons grew by 131,000 and the number of unemployed persons rose by 197,000. The number not in the labor force declined by 119,000.

The employment-to-population ratio was unchanged at  59.0 percent in July and up from 58.7 percent a year earlier. The labor force participation rate incrementally rose to 62.9 percent (was 62.8 percent in June), but it was lower than the 63.4 percent a year earlier. The number of discouraged workers continued to decline with only 741,000 of them compared to 988,000 a year earlier in July 2013.