Jobs Report

Bruce Steinberg

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Quick recap


Overall job growth was still a respectable 209,000 in July although that was a retreat from June's growth of 231,000; one year prior in July 2016, growth was up 291,000. Temporary help services growth continued and was above 3,000,000 for the fourth consecutive month as well as a reaching a new high in terms of market share.

On the other side of the monthly employment situation, the July unemployment rate was back down to 4.3 percent and that was marginally lower from June's 4.4 percent, which had ticked up from May's 4.3 percent. See the Household Survey section below for more detail.


Jobs Report


The number of private-sector jobs grew by 205,000 in July and that was an improvement from June's growth of 194,000. However a year ago, in July 2016, the economy added 249,000 private-sector jobs.


The private Goods-producing sector was up 22,000 in July and that was not as good as June's growth of 32,000; a year ago, in July 2016, it was up 26,000.

  • Manufacturing grew by 16,000 in July after adding 12,000 in June, which followed a flat May; a year ago in July 2016, manufacturing was up 12,000 jobs.

  • The Construction sector slipped, but did not fall, with a gain of only 6,000 in July after adding 15,000 in June; a year ago in July 2016, it was up 18,000. 

  • Mining and logging apparently took a breather and was flat in July after adding 5,000 in June; a year ago, in July 2016, it was down 4,000.

The private Service-providing sector gained 183,000 jobs in July, which was an improvement from June's growth of 162,000; however a year ago in July 2016, it was up 223,000.

  • The Retail trade sector limped forward by only 900 new jobs in July that following double, but still considered relatively weak, growth of 1,800 in June; in July 2016, it was up by 18,600.

  • The Wholesale trade sector gained 6,100 jobs in July after growth of 10,300 in June; a year ago, in July 2016, it was up only 3,500 jobs.

  • The Transportation and warehousing sector growth slowed only 900 in July after adding 6,100 in June; a year ago, in July 2016, it was up 13,600.

  • Interest was waning in Financial activities with the addition of only 6,000 in July after adding 13,000 in June; a year ago in July 2016, it was up 20,000 jobs.

  • The Professional and business services sector improved with growth of 49,000 in July compared to growth of 32,000 in June; a year ago in July 2016, it was up 84,000. Job growth in Computer systems design and related services was 4,900 in July after increasing by 3,800 in June. Management and technical consulting services, was up 7,000 in July after also adding 3,800 in June. However, Architectural and engineering services was up 3,600 in July after adding 4,900 jobs in June.

  • The Education and health services sector added 54,000 jobs in July with its highly seasonal and under-fire private Educational services sub-sector up 9,800 jobs. Home health care services was up a very healthy 11,300 jobs in July, which was much stronger than the 2,100 job-growth it experienced in June.

  • Hiring in the Leisure and hospitality sector continued to gear up through for the summer vacation season with a gain of 62,000 in July after adding 40,000 in June; a year ago, in July 2016, it was up 42,000.

The total number of Government jobs was up 4,000. In June, the federal government was flat, State government was down 3,000, so therefore Local government was up 7,000..

Temporary Help Services Roundup


Temporary help services topped the 3,000,000-job mark for the fourth consecutive month. In July, there were 3,033,900 temporary help services jobs, which was a gain of 14,700 jobs; however June's growth was revised to growth of only 2,900; a year ago in July 2016, it was up 16,400 jobs. Sequential growth in July was 0.5 percent with year-over-year growth of 4.2 percent. For a chart of temporary help's growth from January 1991 to July 2017 and comparing its trend to total employment, click here.


Temporary help's market share in July -- that is its portion of all jobs -- also hit a new high of 2.07 percent, or 2.0693 percent, compared to June's figure of 2.06 percent, or 2.0622 percent. A year ago, in July 2016, it was 2.01 percent, or 2.0147 percent.


(if the chart is unclear, click on them to open in a browser window)

Household Survey


Here are some specifics regarding July's unemployment rate of 4.3 percent that was 0.1 percentage point lower than in June.


The civilian labor force expanded by 349,000 in July, and there were 345,000 more employed persons and only 4,000 more unemployed persons. In other words, the growth in the number of employed persons was large enough to absorb almost all of the growth of the labor force, and although the number of unemployment persons increased, that increase was only marginal. Therefore, the unemployment rate incrementally decreased.


The employment-to-population ratio increased 0.1 to 60.2 and the labor force participation rate also improved by 0.1 to 62.9 in July. There were 156,000 fewer people considered as not the labor force in July.


BTW, we maintain an updated table of many major employment as well as other economic indicators here or here for the mobile version.




Is there anything wrong with a little self-promotion / "we told you so"?


It's summer, we are relaxing a bit, and with a new puppy to look after (R.I.P. labradoodle Izzy; long live labradoodle Louie!), we thought it expedient to bring back a past column. And since we have a number of new followers, we thought all our readers would be well served what we said a dozen years ago  -- and may give staffing executives an interesting insight of how staffing services improve the efficiency of the employment economy.


It was 12 years ago next week -- August 11, 2005 -- that we publicly labeled the then real estate boom a Ponzi scheme that will inevitably implode. Our tip-off was a Nobel Prize winning economic theory of how asymmetrical information influences economic markets. It is a sound economic theory that reinforces why businesses and companies should use staffing services.


To read my original treatise, which was published in the Financial Times, click here.



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