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The Bureau of Labor Statistics, a division of the US Department of Labor, published its most recent unemployment numbers for June 2011.  The unemployment rate published on July 8th for June 2011 is 9.2%.  That is slightly up from May 2011 [by .129%].


This is again where we say, this number may be slightly deceiving.  The unemployment rate includes all types of workers, construction workers, farmers, etc.   It is common economic theory that the unemployment rate can NEVER be 0%.  Very low unemployment hurts the economy by putting upward pressure on wages and, ultimately, the cost of goods and services.  While it may seem a little strange, very low unemployment can lead to periods of high inflation.  So some unemployment is desirable; as a barometer, the month with the lowest recorded unemployment rate was May of 1953 at 2.5%.


The most interesting fact of the most recent numbers published by the BLS is that the unemployment rate among those with college degrees actually decreased by .1%, from 4.5% in May to 4.4% in June.  In other words, over those 30 days, 153,400 college-degreed unemployed people found a position.  That is certainly encouraging.


Having said all that, this news is fairly neutral.  From our perspective, the economy is still continuing a slow recovery, companies are still selectively hiring and baby-boomers are still retiring at a rate of 10,000 a day.  This will only lead to increased hiring activity over the next 6 months.

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