Recession Watch
Optimal Control

Recession Watch

The employment situation. On the establishment side, down 62K jobs. On the household side, the unemployment rate held steady because 144K of the 155K fall in household-survey unemployment left the labor force.

Dean Baker is first out of the gate with his take on these June job numbers:

Employment Rate Drops as Economy Sheds 62,000:

The employment to population ratio (EPOP) ratio fell to 62.4 percent in June, its lowest level in more than three years, as the economy lost another 62,000 jobs in June. This was the sixth consecutive month in which the economy lost jobs. The private sector lost 91,000 jobs in June. With the April and May numbers revised down by 76,000, the job loss in the private sector over the last three months has been 273,000, an average of 91,000 a month. The private sector has now shed 578,000 jobs since employment peaked in November.

Job loss continues to be led by construction and manufacturing.... Employment in residential construction has fallen by 15.8 percent since its peak in February of 2006. By comparison, real spending is down by almost 50 percent over this period. The fact that employment has fallen so much less than production undoubtedly reflects the fact that many undocumented workers never showed up in the employment data.

Manufacturing lost 33,000 jobs in June....

The temporary help and the larger employment services sectors are both shedding jobs at rapid rates, losing 30,400 and 56,900 jobs, respectively in June. These two sectors, which are often seen as harbingers of future employment trends have, respectively, lost 150,000 and 200,000 jobs since January....

The news in the household survey is consistent with the weak picture in the establishment data. The June EPOP is a full percentage point below the peak hit in December of 2006. It is 2.3 percentage points below the peak hit in April of 2000, a difference that corresponds to 5.4 million fewer people having jobs.

The biggest falloff has been among teenagers, who have seen a drop of 4.5 percentage points in their EPOPs. (The EPOP for black teens fell to 19.6 percent, the lowest rate since March of 1984.)... The economy has entered a slow motion recession. It is not seeing the dramatic plunges in jobs that characterized prior recessions, but the collapse of the housing bubble is slowly sinking more and more sectors of the economy.

Private sector job gains in the Bush years may fall below 3 million by November.