June employment

At first glance, this morning BLS data on employment looks bad — a loss of 125,000 jobs. However, that was mostly due to a 225,000 decrease in the number of temporary Census employees workers. The all important private-sector employment increased by 83,000 and the unemployment rate declined slightly to 9.5%. That, however, was not quite as good as economist expected – the WSJ poll estimate was about 114,000 private sector jobs created.
As the chart below shows, the number of involuntary underemployed (part-time for economic reasons) declined in June. This is good news as this is a coincident indicator. However, the number of workers involuntarily underemployed because of slack work increased. That is not good news, as it indicates a slight slowdown in production.
Also of interest is the trend in voluntary part time. As the second chart shows, voluntary part time is continuing its decline from what was a stable level. As I noted before, this is a new phenomena that may be due to a crowding out of part time workers by those who want full time work but can’t get it. In any event, this should be looked at more closely.

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