Professor Danny Boston in the School of Economics dissects the July national unemployment numbers, which were released earlier today by the Labor Department.
Overall, this is a surprisingly good report even though the unemployment rate went up from 8.2% to 8.3%. The unemployment rate increased mainly because 153,000 previously unemployed workers reentered the labor market in search of work. This is a much-needed sign of optimism.
The private sector created a surprisingly large number of new jobs in July: 172,000. The government subtracted 9,000 jobs, for a net increase of 163,000. The average monthly increase in jobs this year has been 151,000, so the current monthly gain exceeded the yearly average.
Although the number of jobs created was lower than the amount needed to reduce high unemployment, it's still the highest it has been since the first quarter.
Black and Latino unemployment decreased during the month of July.
In general, the labor market is surprisingly strong given the continuing debt crisis in Europe and the fact that the U.S. Congress will not likely address the deficit issue or the fiscal cliff until after the November election.
The School of Economics is part of Georgia Tech's Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts.
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