America’s job market has been down so long, today’s mediocre report looked like up.
The headline figures — payrolls up 117,000, unemployment rate down a tic to 9.1% — were better than most forecasters anticipated. That’s a relief.
And many details moved in the right direction as well. Revisions to May and June added another 56,000 jobs, the U-6 measure of underemployment ticked down to 16.1%, and hourly earnings were up 0.4%.
But we still need much stronger job growth if we are ever going to get America back to work. Both unemployment and underemployment remain stubbornly high:
(The U-6 measures includes the officially unemployed, marginally attached workers, and those who are working part-time but want full-time work.)