June Jobs Report: Recovery? What Recovery?

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.


The Labor Department’s June jobs report is ugly. Really ugly. In just about every meaningful category there was bad news about the workforce. Two years after the recession officially ended, the US labor market continues to struggle mightily.

The headline jobless rate crept up to 9.2 percent. Overall the economy created 18,000 jobs (economists had predicted nearly ten times that number). The real unemployment rate jumped up to 16.2 percent, from 15.8 percent. Workers who left the workforce: 272,000. Hours worked and hourly earnings declined. The percentage of Americans participating in the labor force—64.1 percent—is the lowest it’s been since 1983. Teen unemployment is a staggering 24.5 percent, and the jobless rate for blacks and Hispanics is 16.2 percent and 11.6 percent, respectively.

Taking into account the June jobs report, the economy has created an average of 126,000 jobs a month in 2011. That’s barely enough to keep pace with normal population growth.

Put simply, there’s no silver lining in today’s report. Tweeted economist Nouriel Roubini this morning, “Labor market in a slump dashing the hopes that this is a temporary soft patch. It is rather a deep ugly swamp.”

The jobs report casts a dark cloud over the ongoing deficit-reduction talks between top Democrats and Republicans. The White House announced that President Obama will discuss the jobs report at 10:35 a.m. from the Rose Garden.

Here’s more from the Associated Press:

Economists have said that temporary factors have, in part, forced some employers to pull back. High gas prices have cut into consumer spending. And supply-chain disruptions stemming from the Japan crisis slowed U.S. manufacturing production.

In June, hiring was weak in most sectors: Manufacturers added only 6,000 jobs; Education and health care, which added jobs through the recession, was flat; and professional and business services, which include accounting, legal and engineering jobs, grew by only 12,000.

Construction and financial services cut jobs.

In a brief statement this morning, House Speaker John Boehner pointed to June’s dismal jobs report as proof that reducing the federal deficit with tax increases will only make things worse for the US economy. “The stimulus spending dinge, execessive government regulations, and our overwhelming debt continue to hold back job creators around our country,” Boehner said. “Tax hikes on families and job creators would only make things worse.”

Austan Goolsbee, a top economic aide to the president, fired back: “This reiterates what we know, which is that the growth rate slowed down in the first part of this year. And we’ve got to get that growth rate back up. This number is a call for us to take bipartisan action to help get the private sector to stand up and start hiring.”

A BETTER WAY TO DO THIS?

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and we can't afford to come up short. But when a reader recently asked how being a nonprofit makes Mother Jones different from other news organizations, we realized we needed to lay this out better: Because "in absolutely every way" is essentially the answer.

So we tried to explain why your year-end donations are so essential, and we'd like your help refining our pitch about what make Mother Jones valuable and worth reading to you.

We'd also like your support of our journalism with a year-end donation if you can right now—all online gifts will be doubled until we hit our $350,000 goal thanks to an incredibly generous donor's matching gift pledge.

payment methods

A BETTER WAY TO DO THIS?

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and we can't afford to come up short. But when a reader recently asked how being a nonprofit makes Mother Jones different from other news organizations, we realized we needed to lay this out better: Because "in absolutely every way" is essentially the answer.

So we tried to explain why your year-end donations are so essential, and we'd like your help refining our pitch about what make Mother Jones valuable and worth reading to you.

We'd also like your support of our journalism with a year-end donation if you can right now—all online gifts will be doubled until we hit our $350,000 goal thanks to an incredibly generous donor's matching gift pledge.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate