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US – Weak Hiring Is The Problem, Not Layoffs

How bad is America’s jobs market? Layoffs and firings are at the lowest levels on record — yet the country still isn’t adding enough jobs to keep up with population growth.

During the Great Recession, employers slashed millions of jobs. During the economic recovery, net job growth has been tepid. But the problem is no longer layoffs. They’ve been trending lower for years. In July, layoffs and other forced separations fell to 1.554 million, according to the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS). That’s down from 1.761 million in June and 1.956 million in May and the lowest on records hailing back to December 2000.

With so few layoffs, even modest hiring activity would yield robust net job growth. But total hiring dipped slightly to 4.229 million in July, while job openings fell modestly to 3.664 million. Both are near their lowest levels of the year. Hiring actually is slightly below the 4.244 million of March 2010, when the private sector was just starting to show net job growth again.

Nonfarm payrolls rose by just 96,000 in August, the fourth time in five months that net hiring has been below 100,000.

The U.S. needs to add 125,000 jobs or so just to keep pace with population growth. The only reason the jobless rate isn’t far into double-digits right now is because the labor force participation rate has tumbled to a 31-year low…

via Obama Job Growth Problem Is Weak Hiring, Not Layoffs –


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