Reason Foundation

Reason Foundation

July Unemployment: Better Than Expected, Worse Than Needed

Anthony Randazzo
August 5, 2011, 8:47am

Within five minutes of the highly anticipated unemployment report that was released at 8:30 this morning, the Bureau of Labor website crashed. And stayed down for quite a while. About an hour.

At least the headline unemployment rate didn't stay down. Investors breathed a huge sigh of relief that the main unemployment rate fell from 9.2% to 9.1%. But this report doesn't have people dancing in the streets. 

Most of the sentiment in the media today will consider the jobs report to be a positive, but only because of all the bad economic news we've had this week. With markets crashing Thursday in the US and Asian markets opening up in free fall as well, the level of pessimism was highly elevated going into this report. Had markets been doing well, this report is weak enough that it could have caused serious frustration. Ultimately, this jobs report is not a game changer. In relative terms, nothing changed much. The labor market is still terrible.

The Good:

The Bad:

The often repeated phrase in the jobs report is "little changed", as most measurements for July stayed close to their June numbers. 

Anthony Randazzo is Director of Economic Research

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