The headline jobs number in the July employment report was well above expectations, and employment for the previous two months was revised up by 28,000, combined. The participation rate decreased slightly, and the employment-population ratio increased slightly. The unemployment rate declined to 3.5%.
In July, the year-over-year employment change was 6.15 million jobs.
Prime (25 to 54 Years Old) Participation
Since the overall participation rate has declined due to cyclical (recession) and demographic (aging population, younger people staying in school) reasons, here is the employment-population ratio for the key working age group: 25 to 54 years old.
The 25 to 54 participation rate increased in July to 82.4% from 82.3% in June, and the 25 to 54 employment population ratio increased to 80.0% from 79.8% the previous month.
Part Time for Economic Reasons
From the BLS report:
“The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons increased by 303,000 to 3.9 million in July. This rise reflected an increase in the number of persons whose hours were cut due to slack work or business conditions. The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons is below its February 2020 level of 4.4 million. These individuals, who would have preferred full-time employment, were working part time because their hours had been reduced or they were unable to find full-time jobs.“
The number of persons working part time for economic reasons increased in July to 3.924 million from 3.621 million in June. This is below pre-recession levels.
These workers are included in the alternate measure of labor underutilization (U-6) that was unchanged at 6.7% from 6.7% in the previous month. This is down from the record high in April 22.9% for this measure since 1994. This measure is lower than the 7.0% in February 2020 (pre-pandemic).
Unemployed over 26 Weeks
According to the BLS, there are 1.067 million workers who have been unemployed for more than 26 weeks and still want a job, down from 1.336 million the previous month.
This is back to pre-pandemic lows.
The headline monthly jobs number was well above expectations and employment for the previous two months was revised up by 28,000, combined.