It’s no secret that the health of our job market has gone a bit more south over the past couple of months. Of course, it has been very weak for quite some time now, but in the beginning of this year things were starting to look up. The unemployment rate dipped a bit and reports were showing that the applications for unemployment aid were slowing down. Today and these past few months, however, paint a slightly different picture. According to reports, applications for unemployment benefits increased showing that our market is very far from recovery.
According to the Labor Department’s reports, the four-week average of unemployment benefit applications rose for the third week in a row. Currently, it looks as though that average is up to 382,000. Not only is that a high number, but it is the highest number we have seen over the past six weeks. Many have speculated that since we had such an unseasonably warm winter this year and since the warm, summer weather came around much earlier that the boost in employment we experienced in the beginning of the year would not be an indicator for the rest of the year. As the year goes on we begin to see more and more that experts that predicted that were on the right track.
The jobs creation and employment statistics for the beginning of the year were significantly better than the stats we are seeing now. Hiring has slowed down and the unemployment rate even ticked down a small percentage point lower since last month. Over the past three months, reports show that employers are adding an average of about 96,000 jobs each month. That is a stark contrast to the 252,000 average jobs employers were adding in the first three months of the year. Economists are going as far as to say that hiring will dwindle even more this month. Joseph LaVorgna, an economist at Deutsche Bank, was quoted in the Chicago Sun-Times predicting that only 75,000 jobs would be added this month. That’s a large drop from the small jobs that were added in May.
In the beginning of the year we were hopeful as we saw the job creation numbers beginning to rise. As the statistics continue to be less and less substantial though, the question still remains on what is to be done with our job market and economy. As the job market weakens, so does our economy. Consumers are less likely to spend and the overall circulation of economy decreases. On top of that, statistics show that since the recession, our country has only regained less than half of the jobs we lost. Specifically, as a country we have regained less than 3.8 million of the 8.8 million jobs we lost.
We can only wait until the first Friday of July to see how the month of June panned out, but in lieu of recent statistics and the possible trend as of late, the forecast doesn’t look too great.