Employment and Unemployment

July 2017 Jobs Report

According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 222,000 in June (Total Nonfarm Payroll), and the unemployment rate ticked up to 4.4 percent (Civilian Unemployment Rate ), above market expectations of 4.3 percent.  

Employment increased in health care (37,000 jobs), social assistance (23,000 jobs), financial activities (17,000 jobs), and mining (8,000 jobs) industries.

The number of unemployed persons experienced minimal changes at 7.0 million while the labor force participation rate (Labor Force Participation Rate) edged up to 62.8 percent. 

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (4.0 percent), adult women (4.0 percent), teenagers (13.3 percent), Whites (3.8 percent), African Americans (7.1 percent), Asians (3.6 percent), and Latinos (4.8 percent) showed little or no change in June. 


  May 2017 June 2017 Change
Number Employed
152 million
222 million
70 million
Number Unemployed
6.86 million 6.97 million -0.11 million
Unemployment Rate
4.3% 4.4% -0.1


Overall Unemployment Rate                                        

Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, The Employment Situation.


 A Note of Caution

The unemployment rate is a broad measure of how workers are faring in the economy (although it tends to be a lag or delay).  The unemployment rate as generally reported does not count discouraged workers, nor does it measure under-employment, for example, workers who want a full-time job but can only find part-time work (see What is Unemployment).  There are alternative measures to account for unemployed or underemployed workers.  One measure termed “U-6” by the BLS increases the unemployment rate by several percentage points.  However, even an adjusted unemployment rate does not capture the quality of jobs in the economy. This last point is particularly important to keep in mind, given the growth of non-standard (temporary and/or contingent) jobs in the U.S. economy (see How Healthy is the labor market Really?).  


Updated 7/27/2017 by IAM&AW Strategic Resources Department

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