Friday, August 01, 2008
The Labor Department reported the nation's unemployment rate reached a four-year high of 5.7 percent in July and employers slashed payrolls by another 51,000.
The rise in the unemployment rate from 5.5 percent in June to 5.7 percent was due in large part to a surge in unemployment among younger workers. Over the last three months, the unemployment rate for 16 to 19-year olds averaged 19.0 percent and the jobless rate for 20 to 24-year olds was 10.2 percent.
The unemployment rate has risen by almost a full percentage point since the 4.8 percent reading in February, the steepest climb over a five month period since 2001.
Job losses occurred in the usual categories - construction and manufacturing - with the biggest decline seen in trade, transportation, and utilities where declines were broad based, wholesale trade, retail trade, and transportation all declining sharply.
As has been the case for many months now, job creation in health care and government offset some of the other job losses but, so far in 2008, nonfarm payrolls have declined by 463,000 and year over year job growth again rounds to 0.0 percent.