The Job Market: July 2015

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter, and his views on the job market.

“I have been blogging about the job market in the US and around the world since August 2001.”

What I write is not designed to be political or critical; they are my observations and sense of where we are and where we are going.


July, 2015


The U.S. Department of Labor said the economy added 223,000 jobs last month and the U-3 rate of unemployment rate in the US is now 5.3%. Down from 5.5%. The report indicates that the reduction in the unemployment rate was caused by people giving up their efforts to look for work. My opinion is that the weather was nice and they decided to enjoy it; they’ll return in the fall.

The U6 unemployment rate counts not only people without work seeking full-time employment (the  U-3 rate), but also counts “marginally attached workers and those working part-time for economic reasons.”That percentage came in at 10.5%. That is down from a peak of 16.9% in November 2015.

The report also continues a downward trend in revisions to previous months. The previous month was revised to 254000 from 280000; the previous month became 187000 from 223000.

The labor force participation rate hit its lowest level since 1977 after declining a “fairly dramatic” 0.3% to 62.6%. This rate had remained in a narrow 62.7% to 62.9% range since April 2014.This is the lowest rate since 1977

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (4.8 percent), 
adult women (4.8 percent), and blacks (9.5 percent) edged down in June, while the rates 
for teenagers (18.1 percent), whites (4.6 percent), Asians (3.8 percent), and Hispanics 
(6.6 percent) showed little change.

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) declined by 
381,000 to 2.1 million in June. These individuals accounted for 25.8 percent of the 
unemployed. Over the past 12 months, the number of long-term unemployed has declined 
by 955,000

Employment in professional and business services increased by 64,000 in June, about 
in line with the average monthly gain of 57,000 over the prior 12 months. In June, 
employment continued to trend up in temporary help services (+20,000), in architectural 
and engineering services (+4,000), and in computer systems design and related services 

Health care added 40,000 jobs in June. Job gains were distributed among the three 
component industries--ambulatory care services (+23,000), hospitals (+11,000), and 
nursing and residential care facilities (+7,000). Employment in health care had grown 
by an average of 34,000 per month over the prior 12 months.

Employment in retail trade increased by 33,000 in June and has risen by 300,000 over 
the year. In June, general merchandise stores added 10,000 jobs.

In June, employment in financial activities increased by 20,000, with most of the 
increase in insurance carriers and related activities (+9,000) and in securities, 
commodity contracts, and investments (+7,000). Commercial banking employment 
declined by 6,000. Employment in financial activities has grown by 159,000 over 
the year, with insurance accounting for about half of the gain.

Transportation and warehousing added 17,000 jobs in June. Employment in truck 
transportation continued to trend up over the month (+7,000) and has increased by 
19,000 over the past 3 months.

Employment in food services and drinking places continued to trend up in June 
(+30,000) and has increased by 355,000 over the year.
Employment in mining continued to trend down in June (-4,000). Since a recent 
high in December 2014, employment in mining has declined by 71,000, with losses 
concentrated in support activities for mining.
All of us in recruiting are seeing strong hiring. What do you see? Is your firm hiring or laying off?

Do many of you see evidence of a slowdown in hiring (except in oil and gas and mining) or are things growing?

If you do, email me at


(©) Jeff Altman, Asheville, NC 2015


Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter has been a recruiter for more than 40 years.and is the Host of “Job Search Radio.” You can connect with me on LinkedIn and/or follow me at The Big Game Hunter, Inc. on LinkedIn for more articles, videos and podcasts than what are offered here and jobs he is recruiting for.

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