The US bureau of Labour Statistics released its latest employment data for the month of June and the news is disappointing. Some 80,000 net new jobs were created but this was just enough to absorb a little over half the 128,000 new entrants to the labour force. The headline rate of unemployment remained at 8.2 % which is more or less where its been stuck for the past five months. Unemployment was 8.3 % in February, 2012, 8.2 % in March,8.1% in April and 8.2 % in May.
It is beginning to look that we are stuck in a high unemployment equilibrium for which the only solution is a major fiscal boost of government investment that jolts the private sector into using their large accumulated cash reserves to increase hiring. The Fed is likely to keep interest rates low and may do more quantitative easing but that will not be enough to push the unemployment rate down substantially without a fiscal shot in the arm. The broader measure of unemployment U 6 which includes discouraged workers, those working part-time when they would rather work full time and marginally attached workers actually rose to 14.9 %. 41.9 % of the jobless have been without a paid job for 27 weeks or more. The unemployment rate for teenagers is 23.7 %; for blacks 14.4 %; for whites 7.4 %; for Hispanics 11.0 %;for Asians 6.3 %; for adult men 7.8 5; for adult women 7.4 %. The participation rate is 63.8 %. All data courtesy of the US Bureau of Labour Statistics.