Economic News Release

Commissioner's Statement on the Employment Situation News Release


Advance copies of this statement are made available to the press
under lock-up conditions with the explicit understanding that the
data are embargoed until 8:30 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time.
                                
                          Statement of
                                
                           Keith Hall
                          Commissioner
                    Bureau of Labor Statistics
                                
                           before the
                    Joint Economic Committee
                     UNITED STATES CONGRESS
                     Friday, August 6, 2010


Madam Chair and Members of the Committee:

     Thank you for the opportunity to discuss the employment and
unemployment data we released this morning.
     
     Nonfarm payroll employment declined by 131,000 in July, and
the unemployment rate remained at 9.5 percent.  The decrease in
employment largely reflects continued cuts in the number of
temporary workers previously hired for Census 2010.  Private
sector employment edged up (+71,000) over the month.  Thus far in
2010, private sector employment has risen by 630,000, although
nearly two-thirds of that gain occurred in March and April.
     
     In July, employment in the Federal government fell for the
second month in a row.  The number of temporary Census 2010
workers decreased by 143,000, following a decline of 225,000 in
June.  This leaves 196,000 temporary decennial census workers on
the payroll.
     
     Within the private sector, employment gains continued in
manufacturing, health care, and mining.  Manufacturing employment
rose by 36,000.  Most of the gain occurred in motor vehicles and
parts manufacturing (+21,000), as some plants deviated from their
normal practice of shutting down in July for retooling.  Motor
vehicles had added 32,000 jobs during the first half of the year.
Employment in fabricated metals increased by 9,000 over the
month.  The manufacturing workweek rose by one-tenth of an hour
in July, after falling by half an hour in June.
     
     Health care employment grew by 27,000 over the month.  Since
the recession began in December 2007, health care has added
665,000 jobs.  Employment in mining rose by 7,000 in July,
largely in support activities.
     
     Employment in temporary help services was nearly unchanged
for the second month in a row.  Job gains had averaged 45,000 per
month from October 2009 through May.
     
     Construction employment was little changed in July
(-11,000).  A strike in the industry reduced payrolls by 10,000.
Financial sector employment continued to trend down over the
month (-17,000), though the pace of job loss has been slower this
year.  Thus far in 2010, monthly job declines have averaged
12,000, compared with 29,000 in 2009.  Employment in most other
private sector industries was little changed in July.
     
     Average hourly earnings of all employees on private nonfarm
payrolls rose by 4 cents in July to $22.59.  Over the past 12
months, average hourly earnings have risen by 1.8 percent.  From
June 2009 to June 2010, the Consumer Price Index for All Urban
Consumers (CPI-U) rose by 1.1 percent.
     
     Turning now to data from our survey of households, most key
labor force measures were essentially unchanged in July.  The
jobless rate remained at 9.5 percent, and the number of
unemployed held at 14.6 million.  The rate has declined from 9.9
percent in April, reflecting decreasing labor force
participation.  The participation rate had risen during the first
4 months of this year, to 65.2 percent in April, but has now
returned to 64.6 percent, its December 2009 level.
     
     Among the employed, the number of individuals working part
time who preferred full-time work was nearly unchanged over the
month at 8.5 million.  Since April, the number of such workers
has declined by 623,000.  However, the level remains 3.9 million
above that of December 2007 when the recession began.
     
     In summary, payroll employment declined by 131,000 in July,
largely reflecting a decrease in the number of temporary census
workers (-143,000).  Small job gains continued in the private
sector.  The unemployment rate held at 9.5 percent.
     
     My colleagues and I now would be glad to answer your
questions.
     
     
     
     

Last Modified Date: August 06, 2010
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