News / Economy

US Unemployment Falls, but Growth Lags

US Unemployment Falls, but Growth Lagsi
X
August 02, 2013 10:33 PM
U.S. companies hired fewer workers than expected last month, and there were also fewer jobs added in May and June. Still, the US Labor Department says the economy added enough jobs in July to lower the unemployment rate to 7.4 percent - the lowest in 4 and a half years. But analysts say the mixed jobs report suggests a worrisome trend for US workers. For VOA, Mil Arcega explains.

US Unemployment Falls, but Growth Lags

U.S. companies hired fewer workers than expected last month, and there also were fewer jobs added in May and June. Still, the US Labor Department says the economy added enough jobs in July to lower the unemployment rate to 7.4 percent - the lowest in 4 and a half years. But analysts say the mixed jobs report suggests a worrisome trend for U.S. workers.

x
​The U.S. economy added 162-thousand jobs in July - a number consistent with slow but steady job growth. Despite a decline in unemployment of 0.2 percent, however, last month’s job numbers suggest employers remain cautious.  

More telling is the quantity and quality of the new jobs. Mark Hamrick heads the Washington Bureau at Bankrate.com.

“The number of hours worked are not impressive, earnings declined, and there’s a large number of the composition of the jobs in here - have been part time jobs. So all in all, it’s the quality of the jobs and the quantity of the jobs being created are both very much in question,” said Hamrick.

The number of jobs added last month also was the fewest since March, and well below consensus expectations of about 185,000. Reaction on Wall Street has been muted. Others remain optimistic, though, about stronger job growth in the second half of the year.

Ken Simonson, at the National Association for Business Economics, points to the group’s latest survey. “The firms said that, on balance, they had added to their head count over the last quarter, and over the next six months they expect to continue hiring, on balance, at a pretty high rate."

Also on the positive side - manufacturing added six thousand jobs - the first gains since February. And hiring in professional and technology services also increased.

Hamrick said another bright spot for American workers is that global economies are starting to see signs of stability.

“Europe is looking a little better, and China has reported some modest growth. The U.S. economy is dependent on a strong global economy, and that includes U.S. manufacturers. There’s more demand overseas, that helps U.S. manufacturers, and they can start thinking about growth going forward,” he said.
 
Another issue that investors likely will not have to worry about is the central bank making any sudden changes in its monetary policies. Analysts say sluggish economic growth in the second quarter and smaller than expected job gains in July suggest the Federal Reserve is unlikely to scale back anytime soon on bond purchases that have kept long-term interest rates at record lows.

You May Like

UN Watchdog Urges Israel to Probe Possible Gaza War Crimes

More than 2,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians, were killed in a 51-day war in Gaza, along with 67 Israeli soldiers and six civilians in Israel More

New Kenyan 'Thin SIMs' Poised to Transform African Mobile Money

Equity's new technology is approved in African nation for one-year trial, though industry leader Safaricom says thin SIMs could lead to data theft and fraud More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Telemill from: San Francisco
August 06, 2013 3:34 PM
I don't understand why people don't see the obvious? One statistic that was NOT in this article is that small businesses account for 69% of job growth in the United States. Why don't people CREATE their own job? I did! Create a small business. It only takes a good idea and about $100 bucks to get a business license. Then you set up your small business structure to "create" positions to hire people in your community. Americans have become a LAZY people . . . create your OWN job and hire others to make your community flourish. With the internet as your tool you can do so many things now. Do you realize that if only 10% of the unemployed began and grew their own businesses we would have been OUT of the recession a long time ago? What the hell!

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.7893
JPY
USD
107.68
GBP
USD
0.6238
CAD
USD
1.1214
INR
USD
61.185

Rates may not be current.