Free Markets, Free People

Economic Statistics for 3 Aug 12

The following statistics were released today on the state of the US economy:

The ISM Non-Manufacturing Index rose 0.5 to 52.6. New orders rose 1 point to 54.3, while business activity, jumped 5.5 points to 57.2.

A net 163,000 new jobs were added to the economy in July, while the unemployment rate rose to 8.3%. This marks the 41st consecutive month that unemployment has remained above 8%. The broadest measure of unemployment measured by the BLS, the U-6 unemployment rate, rose to 15.2%. The average workweek remained unchanged at 34.5 hours, while hourly earnings increased by only 0.1%, rising 2 cents to $23.52. The civilian non-institutional adult population rose by 199,000 persons in July, while 195,000 fewer people were listed as being employed. As a result, the employment-population ratio fell back to its historical low of 58.4%, and the labor force participation rate fell to 63.7%, also a historical low. Prior to the current recession, the last time those ratios were this low was in 1983. If the labor force participation rate were at the historical average of 66.2%, the current rate of unemployment would be 11.72%. Overall, the report was merely "fairly bad", rather than "completely disastrous", like the last two months have been.

Dale Franks
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