July 2016 Unemployment Numbers

Barack Obama

U.S President Barack Obama

Politicians are masters at twisting the truth or facts. They try to find any detail that is positive or a way to spin the facts in their favor. The chart below is a great example of this. President Obama and the White House were thrilled to announce the July jobs report came out. The only thing they have talked about is the 255,000 jobs created. That’s an okay number and higher than expected. Two things, it’s not good enough to create the growth we need. Second, it doesn’t tell much at all about the real state of the economy.

4.9%: The unemployment rate stayed the same at 4.9 percent in July.

7,770,000: The total number of unemployed individuals during July was 7.8 million. The number of unemployed individuals is 125,000 higher than when the recession began in December 2007.

255,000: The economy added 255,000 jobs during July, down from 292,000 jobs added during June. Despite strong job growth this month, the total number of employed workers has only increased 4.4 percent since the recession began in December 2007.

15,660,000: The total number of individuals “underemployed” was 15.7 million during July 2016. This includes those individuals who are unemployed (7.8 million), those who want a job but are no longer looking for work (2 million) and those individuals who are working part-time because no other work was available (5.9 million).

9.7%: The “underemployment” or “real unemployment” rate was 9.7 percent during July 2016. Real unemployment is nearly 1 percent higher than when the recession began during December 2007.

8.4%: The African American unemployment rate was 8.4 percent during July 2016, 0.6 percentage points lower than when the recession began in December 2007.

5.4%: The Hispanic unemployment rate was 5.4 percent during July 2016, down from 5.8 percent during June.

3.3%: The civilian labor force has only grown 3.3 percent since President Obama assumed office, rising from 154.2 million during January 2009 to 159.3 million during July 2016.

62.8%: The labor force participation rate, which measures the percentage of individuals working or looking for work, was 62.8 percent during July. This represents a near 40-year low and one of the lowest rates since March 1978 when labor force participation was also 62.8 percent. In addition, this means that 37.2 percent of individuals who are able to work are not looking for a job.

9.5%: If the labor force participation rate were the same as it was at the start of the recession, the unemployment rate would be 9.5 percent and roughly 15.1 million individuals would currently be unemployed.

2,020,000: The number of individuals unemployed for longer than 27 weeks was 2 million during July. The total number of long-term unemployed has increased 696,000, or 52.6 percent, since before the recession.

5,940,000: The number of individuals forced to work part time because no full-time work was available was 5.9 million during June. The number of part-time workers for economic reasons has increased 1.3 million, or 28.6 percent since December 2007.

1,950,000: The number of individuals who attempted to look for a job at some point in the last year but have given up their search was roughly 2 million during July 2016.

826,000: There were 826,000 unemployed first-time job entrants during July 2016. These individuals entered the labor market for the first time and were unable to find work. When President Obama assumed office this number was 775,000.

28.1 Weeks: The average number of weeks it took job seekers to find work increased to 28.1 weeks in July. This represents nearly 10 weeks longer than the average observed over the past 40 years. The average time it takes job seekers to find work has remained over that average for over seven years or 94 months.

8.2%: The millennial unemployment rate (18-29) decreased to 8.2 percent in July. When including individuals who have given up looking for work, as well as those who are working part-time because no other work was available, this figure increases to 12.1 percent.

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