Traverse City Record-Eagle

Business

August 2, 2013

Employers aren't cutting, or adding, many staffers

WASHINGTON (AP) — Companies have all but stopped laying off workers. They just aren’t hiring many.

When the government issues the July employment report Friday, it will likely show another solid month of job growth. But the job gain can be misleading because it’s a net figure: The number of people hired minus the number who lose or quit jobs.

When employers are cutting few workers, as they are now, it doesn’t take many hires to create a high net gain.

Last week, the number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits fell 19,000 to 326,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. That was the fewest since January 2008.

Those applications reflect layoffs. And layoffs have averaged 1.65 million a month this year through May, even fewer than the 1.77 million average in the pre-recession year of 2006.

So few people are losing their jobs that it’s easy to forget that the job market isn’t yet healthy. The unemployment rate remains a still-high 7.6 percent — far more than the 5 percent to 6 percent associated with a normal economy.

According to a survey of economists by FactSet, the economy likely added 183,000 jobs in July. Yet the picture isn’t as bright as that net gain might suggest. Consider why a net gain can be deceiving:

Suppose a company cut 40 workers and hired 50. Net gain: 10 jobs. But say it instead cut only 10 and added 30. It would have hired fewer workers. Yet it would have created twice the net job gain — 20.

1
Text Only

the BIZ

AP Video
Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide