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Patrick J. O'Keefe Provides Perspective on June Employment Data on Bloomberg Radio


Patrick O'Keefe, J.H. Cohn's director of economic research, made a repeat appearance on Bloomberg Radio's The Hays Advantage as one of the guests on the Friday, July 8th program examining the June employment report.

The employment report indicated that the unemployment rate rose to 9.2 percent with the economy adding only 18,000 jobs. Pat provides his insight into the data over the course of the three-part interview:

In part one, Pat responds to questions about the validity of June's data. He says that the U.S. had 1.3 million fewer jobs in June 2011 than it did in January of 2000. He says, "That's not seasonal adjustment; that's economic poor performance." Later, he comments, "The trend of this recovery has been weak, remains weak, and, for all practical purposes, will remain weak going forward." Click here to listen to part one.

In part two, Pat brings up what he considers an often-overlooked number: the employment rate, which is a measure of the proportion of work-aged people with a job. He explains, "Even as we're adding jobs, our work age population and our potential labor force have been increasing. Our utilization of our human resource in providing those who need jobs/want jobs with a source of income has simply not been met since this recovery began." Click here to listen to the second part of the interview.

Before the release of the June data, projections suggested there would be greater gains in jobs. In the final interview installment, Pat responds to comments about the limits of the BLS data. His opinion is: "This remains a very sluggish job recovery for reasons not attributable to the limitations of the BLS." Further, he comments, "Sluggish almost exaggerates the speed of this recovery; it's not only sluggish, it sputters." In summary, he says the underlying trend is upward. Click here to listen to Pat's comments in part three.

Published date: 7/12/2011

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