U.S. Unemployment Rate Slightly Dips in July to 9.1%; Markets Breathe a Temporary Sigh of Relief

U.S. Unemployment Rate Slightly Dips in July to 9.1%; Markets Breathe a Temporary Sigh of Relief

Residential News » Residential Real Estate Edition | By Michael Gerrity | August 5, 2011 9:34 AM ET

On the heels of a 500 point stock market drop yesterday, finally a little good news on the jobs front today.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 117,000 in July, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 9.1 percent. Job gains occurred in health care, retail trade, manufacturing, and mining. Government employment continued to trend down.

Tonya Giddens, an Orlando-based real estate consultant stated, "Unemployment recovery is the single biggest key to fixing the U.S. housing market. If people don't have jobs, or are under-employed, they can't pay their mortgages or rents, or be in the market for a new home. The good news today is it didn't get any worse, this is the new normal".

The number of unemployed persons (13.9 million) and the unemployment rate (9.1 percent) changed little in July. Since April, the unemployment rate has shown little definitive movement. The labor force, at 153.2 million, was little changed in July.

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (9.0 percent), adult women (7.9 percent), teenagers (25.0 percent), whites (8.1 percent), blacks (15.9 percent), and Hispanics (11.3 percent) showed little or no change in July. The jobless rate for Asians was 7.7 percent, not seasonally adjusted.

The number of persons unemployed for less than 5 weeks declined by 387,000 in July, mostly offsetting an increase in the prior month. The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks and over), at 6.2 million, changed little over the month and accounted for 44.4 percent of the unemployed.

The civilian labor force participation rate edged down in July to 63.9 percent, and the unemployment population ratio was little changed at 58.1 percent.

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) was about unchanged in July at 8.4 million. These individuals were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job.

In July, 2.8 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, little changed from a year earlier. These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey.

Among the marginally attached, there were 1.1 million discouraged workers in July, about the same as a year earlier. Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them. The remaining 1.7 million persons marginally attached to the labor force in July had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities.

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