Only about 6.3% of Americans over the age of 16 participate in the job market. This means that they have a job or are looking for one. This rate has been hovering recently around its lowest level since 1979. This is a dismal number.
The make-up of job growth was also disappointing. Hiring in July was focused on sectors that are low pay for workers. This includes adding 47,000 jobs in restaurants and 38,000 in bars. Revisions to May and June also show that the economy added 26,000 fewer jobs than originally reported. The average work week also fell slightly and the average wage fell by about 2 cents an hour to $23.98 hour.
The number of workers taking part-time jobs increased and more workers are self-employed. It is a disturbing trend as companies are still reluctant to hire full time employees. Perhaps, this is due to a slow growth in the economy in the second quarter which is equivalent to about 1.7% on an annual basis. Many economists, including those at the Federal Reserve, expect economicgrowth to accelerate later this year.
"I don't think it's time to press the panic button," Guatieri said. "We still think the economy will pick up in the second half of the year as some of the fiscal headwinds abate."
The Federal Reserve has said it wants to see the outlook for the job market improve "substantially" before it will be ready to start gradually reducing its monthly bond-buying program -- known as QE3. Weakness in the July jobs report could mean the central bank will hold off on beginning to taper QE3 until later in the year.
Our economy is still struggling. Many of the jobs lost will not return. There are no easy solutions. My hope is that some pf the part time positions will turn into full time jobs as companies become confident in an up tick in the economy. Let’s hope for an end-year rebound.