6.4 Million U.S. Jobs Lost Since End-2007

July 2, 2009

Non-farm payroll employment fell 467,000 last month, slightly more than the 436K per month decline in the second quarter but less than the negative pace of 691K per month in 1Q09 or 553K per month in 4Q08.  Jobs also dropped 113K per month in 1Q08, 153k per month in 2Q08 and 208K per month in 3Q08 as the recession began to heat up.  The downturn has lasted 18 months so far, and employment dropped 4.7% in that span or at an annualized rate of 3.1%.  Hours worked continue to creep lower, dipping a tenth in June to 33.0.  Before firms think about hiring, they generally have employees work more hours, so the grind downward in hours worked underscores that the road to recovery still has quite some way to go before it trickles down to the labor market. The level of employment in June was the lowest such has been since August 2004.

New weekly jobless insurance claims have exceeded 600K since January.  Such averaged 615.25K over the latest four reported weeks to June 27, down from 632.25K per week in the four weeks to May 30, 624.5K per week in the prior four weeks to May 2 and 658.75K in the previous four weeks to April 4.  New claims also averaged 646.75K per week in the four weeks to March 7 and 601.5K per week in the four weeks from January 10 to February 7.  Historically, when job claims advance above 400K per week, the economy usually turns out to be in recession, so from this vantage-point as well, economic recovery has not yet arrived.

Copyright Larry Greenberg 2009.  All rights reserved.  No secondary distribution without express permission.

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