Job Expectations Dashed Again

By Toni Vranjes

July 8, 2011

The U.S. job market took another turn for the worse last month.

The Labor Department reported a gain of only 18,000 jobs — a much smaller number than economists had expected. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate rose from 9.1 percent in May to 9.2 percent last month.

For June, economists had forecast a gain of more than 100,000 jobs.

Employment increased in certain areas, including leisure and hospitality, professional and technical services, health care, and mining. But many private-sector industries showed little or no change in employment, according to the report. In addition, the government shed 39,000 jobs.

The jobs report also included other bleak numbers. For instance, the “underemployment rate” increased from 15.8 percent to 16.2 percent. This measure includes part-time workers who would prefer to have full-time jobs, as well as people who have dropped out of the labor force entirely.

Also, more people joined the ranks of the “long-term unemployed” — those who have been jobless for 27 weeks or longer. The number increased from 6.2 million to nearly 6.3 million.

Speaking from the White House Rose Garden on Friday, President Obama said: “Today’s job report confirms what most Americans already know: We still have a long way to go and a lot of work to do to give people the security and opportunity that they deserve.

“We’ve added more than 2 million new private-sector jobs over the past 16 months, but the recession cost us more than 8 million. And that means that we still have a big hole to fill.”

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