Don't Put A Rosy Spin On July Jobs Numbers, Please

july job numbers

I always pay close attention to the monthly unemployment statistics. I'm not an analyst. Or an economist. But I've been unemployed for 2½ years, scraping by on freelance work. I like to dig a little deeper into the numbers to get a better feel for what's really going on -- and what that might mean for me.

Sometimes the unemployment rate goes up a bit, as it did in July, because the unemployed who'd previously given up looking for jobs optimistically decide to resume their searches. Unfortunately, this isn't what happened in July. Instead, another 150,000 people dropped out of the labor force. I also read that the average duration of unemployment fell by a little over a week, to 38.8 weeks, in July. At first glance this may look positive -- people must be finding jobs faster, right? Not necessarily. It can also mean that people who've been out of work for longer periods of time have stopped looking and so are no longer counted.

You can always pick out a few numbers and focus on them to make things look better than they actually are; but the "big picture," the overall trend, remains bad. What I see, from my admittedly skewed perspective as one of the chronically unemployed, is that too many people are despairing of ever finding jobs and are simply giving up.

Numbers are cold. Analysts can choose to highlight the positive ones, but that doesn't change the pain, the fact that millions and millions of people are having a terrible time surviving this longest period of 8 percent-plus unemployment since the Great Depression. The longer this drags on, the worse the impact is on real human beings and their families.

More: $100,000 A Year Jobs That Don't Require A College Degree

Maybe because it's been so bad for so long, I almost don't expect the employment picture to get better anymore. Yet I'm still (perhaps irrationally) hopeful that I can defy the odds and find that "happy landing" I used to hear about.

Still, when I pull back from my hyperfocus, the reality I see is that there are huge numbers of us who can't find jobs, no matter what we do and no matter how long we do it.

I don't know how you put a positive spin on that.



More Jobs, Higher Unemployment Rate, July Report Says




Don't Miss: Companies Hiring Now



More From Fran Hopkins



Looking for a job? Click here to get started.

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum

128 Comments

Filter by:
ldomenech305

You are on AOL. Your post would not have been displayed on Huffington Post, who seems to get its marching orders from the White House. Cobgratulation on a well written piece.

August 07 2012 at 1:29 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
kentblackdog

Remeber, this is a seasonally ADJUSTED number. Happens in July and December----July, the numbers are adjusted UP and in December, they are adjusted down------to even out the numbers, due to seasonal demand for labor.

So, the July number was adjusted Up to the tune of appx 1.2 million jobs------------now. does a new job creation numner of 166,000 look all that good, with appx. 1.2 million jobs added to the real number-----------------------------looks more like a 1.34 million job loos, is the true jobs number for July.

Expect Aug numbers, to be not so good.

August 07 2012 at 12:53 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Glyn

Yeah, all government numbers are cooked. They don't include those that have fallen off the list or those that have just given up hope. In California for example the unemployment rate is close to 30% despite what Governor Moonbeam would have you think.

August 07 2012 at 12:13 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
jyc925

Leave it to the dems to put on spin on job numbers especially when they know they are sinking. They will do anything to try to make them look good, but you know what they NEVER EVER WILL !!!!!!

August 06 2012 at 11:51 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
bdyftns

This is old news. No wonder you can't find a job writing.

August 06 2012 at 10:45 PM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply
bonbis448

Yes You are right Fran, I do not trust statistics when I see people on the bus every day that would love to find a job, any job. I looked for over a year, then I was lucky? I qualified for early retirement. Which I never wanted to take! So now I am one of the fixed income poverty members of society. Instead of retiring at 65 with $300 more a month, from a Gov that can not pay it's bills, and still is spending more than it is taking in. When is it going to stop, when we are working as slave labor for China? Scary Scary stuff.

August 06 2012 at 10:00 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
wlnorman

Commentors like jsbluesman should look at the facts instead of listening to the conservative and anti Obama rhetoric of miss information.

I suggest http://www.ssa.gov/oact/STATS/dibStat.html as one source to learn A LOT!

One can see that applications for SS disability increased from 1,300,000 a year in 2000 to 2,320,000 in 2008. - an almost 80% INCREASE under Bush and it jumped to 2.8 M in 2009, 2.9 M in 2010 and 2,9 in 2011. under Obama number of applicants have stabilized at about 2.9 M and rapid increases in annual application stopped.

One can also see that under Bush the percent of these applications cthat were awarded SS disability varied from a high of 46 and recent low of 38%. Obama decreased this to 35 -36% in 2009, 2010, 2011. Definitely better on all measures.

As to jsbluesman "disasterous economy, one again should look at any economic indicator and see a steadily improving economy. house prices moving up, foreclosures down, inventory of homes on market down, unemployment down, all stack market have regain most of loss (OW went down to 7000 and turned up as soon as Obama elected and now at 13,100 - almost doubled!), retail sales, durable goods, exports/imports, energy production, energy costs, foreign relationships/ international attitude towards US, 50% of all world reserves are holding US dollars.

August 06 2012 at 9:36 PM Report abuse -6 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to wlnorman's comment
Curt

You don't get it. "House prices moving up" will be my first tackle. If your home was worth $200,000 in 2000, dropped to a value of $150,000 in 2009 and "moved up to $155,000 in 2011 it is not something to jump for joy!
Second, "foreclosures down." The year 2000 140,000 foreclosed, ten years later, (2010), 350,000 foreclosed, this year 300,000 foreclosed. Again, not that wonderful.
Third, "unemployment down." I have no idea how you can even spin this one. Eight years under Bush UR was 4.2% for the lowest month to 7.8% for the highest month, (his last month in office). Obama's best month the rate was 8.2% and the worst 10%.
I used exaggerated numbers for the first two examples to show you a click in time for a month is not a statistically sound practice. Years show a much better picture. The third argument used real numbers. Short time spans are silly for argument purposes when talking the economy. Eg. I could say a Realtor made $13,000 today so he/she must make $390,000 this month but in reality he/she has a closing once a month. Understand?

August 06 2012 at 10:28 PM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply
ldomenech305

What was I thinking? I am immediately starting a grassroots movement with its corresponding blog to make Obama president for life; we cannot lose this wonderful state our economy is in by electing someone else. That's an un-American idea.. And one of our mission statements must include the the eradication of the great enemy of progress Bush from the history books. Oh, heck, my electric toohbrush does not works; it must be George Bush's fault...

August 07 2012 at 1:24 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
bcookn38

glad too see someone tell the truth whish the goverment would

August 06 2012 at 9:25 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
teetse123

If you work one hour a week you are considered employed! Low wages and high unemployment are shrinking the middle class. Most of the new jobs created are low wage, no benefit part=time jobs,that are celebrated as job creation. There goes the American Dream!

August 06 2012 at 9:19 PM Report abuse +7 rate up rate down Reply
investrman

I am a US small business owner. Millionos of us exist out there- ask us for the truth on jobs, hiring, employment, etc!

We also are the Independents that are going to vote Romney this Fall and get rid of Obama's extreme socialist actions eroding the USA further into oblivion- BUT, and I say this very clearly to all reading, Mitt Romney you have this one chance to prove you will not become a status quo politician in Washington like most of the rest.

Because today, the Republican or Democratic parties are one in the same. Both are wings off the same dammn vulture...

Romney you better do as you state, and NOT become corrupted by our inefficient and lobbyist run Government.

August 06 2012 at 9:14 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

Search Articles

Top Companies Hiring

Week of Aug 17 - Aug 24
View All

Picks From the Web