Well, unemployment rate in line with expectations at 9.8%, up from last months 9.7%. BUT if you look at www.bls.gov and break down the #s a bit you get some bad news that will surely be overlooked by the mass media outlets
-Payrolls loss is accelerating not improving, meaning that the next few months unemployment rate % should keep creeping higher.
-Avg weekly work hours dropped to 33.0 the lowest ever (and tied with Jun'09) - this is BAD - those that are working are working less, making less weekly earnings, and means job creating will be slow to come. This could also play negatively to productivity.
-Avg (and also median) time in weeks for unemployed job seekers to look for jobs increased.. most people out of work now are waiting more than half a year to get a new job!
-The 9.8% represents the so-called U-3 measure of labor underutilization. (http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.t12.htm)
This is the "official" seasonally adjusted unemployment rate BUT it discludes those unemployed who stopped looking for a job and gave up, those who are so-called UnderEmployed, people who are forced into temporary or part-time jobs but would like full employment due to economic reasons and so on. All those are lumped into the U-6 # which is now an astounding 17.0% and that represents a much clearer picture of the current jobs situation.
-The unemployment rate amongst teenagers and students has risen to a staggering 25.9% .. young job seekers must be VERY discouraged and probably will be the most affected going forward with a longer lasting impact on their psyches and thus the future of American productivity and innovation.
-Our job force and employment profile in the USA might be getting "dumber".. The unemployment rate for those without even a HS diploma fell from 15.6% to 15.0%, meanwhile those with diplomas, or college and higher degrees rose! This has been a trend over the past few months and not just a one-off.
-Unemployment insurance initial (and continuing) jobless claims continue to be large, but even more interestingly they seem to be constantly revised WORSE week to week.
So.. the unemployment and jobs market continues to be weak despite the constant assurances from the gov't and the mass media that things are improving or at least stabilizing. These data speak clearly and the fact is that this recession is NOT over and we will not see a recovery until people start working and producing and earning money again. Without steady income, consumers cannot and will not spend. Additionally, unemployed people tend to have little or no private health insurance coverage and this will put a huge damper on growth, the health care system and the gov't.
The markets in the past few days have recognized the data and reacted accordingly. Hopefully the future will improve but right now I am a bit scared still!