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US Unemployment Rate Drops to 6.1 Percent

US Unemployment Rate Drops to 6.1 Percenti
Mil Arcega
July 03, 2014 8:21 PM
The U.S. economy enjoyed a big surge in hiring last month with employers adding 288,000 jobs in June. The better than expected gains pushed the unemployment rate to a fivec-and-a half-year low and helped boost stock prices to new highs. VOA's Mil Arcega has more.
Watch related video report by VOA's Mil Arcega.
Jim RandleKen Bredemeier

The U.S. unemployment rate dropped in June to the lowest level in nearly six years, while job creation surged.

Thursday's report from the Labor Department shows the unemployment rate falling two-tenths of a percentage point to hit 6.1 percent.

The study also shows a net gain of 288,000 jobs. The job growth and the unemployment rate are both better than economists had predicted.

President Barack Obama visited a start-up technology firm in Washington and noted that it was the first time since 1999 the economy had gained 200,000 jobs a month for five straight months. But he said even more jobs could be created were it not for Washington's political gridlock.

"We've done better than the vast majority of other countries over the last five years, but that drag has still meant a lot of hardship for a lot of folks," he said. "And so it’s really important for us to understand that we could be making even stronger progress, we could be growing even more jobs, we could be creating even more business opportunities for smart, talented folks like these if those of us here in Washington were focused on them, focused on you, the American people, rather than focused on politics."

Professional services

Government experts say job growth was widespread last month, and strongest in professional services, retail, food services and health care.

The data may be evidence that the world's largest economy is recovering from the effects of unusually foul winter weather that hurt the economy in the first few months this year.

The upbeat data encouraged investors, who pushed the country's best known stock price barometer, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, above 17,000 for the first time.  

During the past year, the number of people officially counted as unemployed is down by 2.3 million, but that still leaves 9.5 million people out of work.

Other job data was mixed. The number of Americans working part time rose because they cannot find full-time work, while the number of people out of work longer than 27 weeks declined.

A separate report from the Commerce Department shows that growing exports improved the U.S. trade deficit.

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Comment Sorting
by: Dr. Roberts from: USA
July 07, 2014 6:14 PM
Washington can’t stop lying. Don’t be convinced by last Thursday’s job report that it is your fault if you don’t have a job. Those 288,000 jobs and 6.1% unemployment rate are more fiction than reality.

In his analysis of the June Labor Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, John Williams ( wrote that the 288,000 June jobs and 6.1% unemployment rate are “far removed from common experience and underlying reality.” Payrolls were overstated by “massive, hidden shifts in seasonal adjustments,” and the Birth-Death model added the usual phantom jobs.

Williams reports that “the seasonal factors are changed each and every month as part of the concurrent seasonal-adjustment process, which is tantamount to a fraud,” as the changes in the seasonal factors can inflate the jobs number.

The monthly unemployment rates are not comparable, so one doesn’t know whether the official U.3 rate (the headline rate that the financial press reports) went up or down. Moreover, the rate does not count discouraged workers who, unable to find a job, cease looking. To be counted among the U.3 unemployed, the person must have actively looked for work during the four weeks prior to the survey. The U.3 rate automatically declines as people who have been unable to find jobs cease trying to find one and thereby cease to be counted as unemployed.

There is a second official measure of unemployment that includes people who have been discouraged for less than one year. That rate, known as U.6, is seldom reported and is double the 6.1% rate.

Since 1994 there has been no official measure than includes discouraged people who have not looked for a job for more than a year. Including all discouraged workers produces an unemployment rate that currently stands at 23.1%, almost four times the rate that the financial press reports.

What you can take away from this is the opposite of what the presstitute media would have you believe. The measured rate of unemployment can decline simply because large numbers of the unemployed become discouraged workers, cease looking for work, and cease to be counted in the U.3 and U.6 measures of the unemployment rate.

The decline in the employment-population ratio from 63% prior to the 2008 downturn to 59% today reflects the growth in discouraged workers. Indeed, the ratio has not recovered its previous level during the alleged recovery, an indication that the recovery is an illusion created by the understated measure of inflation that is used to deflate nominal GDP growth.

Another indication that there has been no recovery is that Sentier Research’s index of real median household income continued to decline for two years after the alleged recovery began in June 2009. There has been a slight upturn in real median household income since June 2011, but income remains far below the pre-recession level.

The Birth-Death model adds an average of 62,000 jobs to the reported payroll jobs numbers each month. This arbitrary boost to the payroll jobs numbers is in addition to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ underlying assumption that unreported jobs lost to business failures are matched by unreported new jobs from new business startups, an assumption that does not well fit an economy that fell into recession and is unable to recover.

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