US sees 288,000 jobs added; some economists say it could be better


GREEN BAY – The monthly jobs report shows the country’s employers added 288,000 workers in June, beating expectations.

The numbers buoyed the Dow Jones Industrial Average, topping 17,000 points for the first time. It rose 92 points, to continue a strong month-and-a-half for Wall Street.

The report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, also says the federal unemployment rate is now 6.1 percent.

Of the job gains, the government says 67,000 came from the scientific or consulting services sector.

One of those jobs is Alex Tilton’s.

“Well, my role is as a client service manager,” said the 22-year-old Chippewa Falls native.

Tilton, a recent University of Wisconsin-Green Bay graduate, works at Green Bay-based Breakthrough Fuel, a fuel and commodity analysis company.

“Just coming out of college, knowing there’s a place to advance and kind of be on the ground floor of this company that hopefully booms someday, not that it isn’t already.”

By the end of the summer, the 45-employee company will have hired six new employees.

While it is a bright spot on the jobs front, the most recent data shows the state lost 1,100 jobs between April and May – 400 coming from the private sector. Last year, the state ranked 37th in the nation in private sector job creation, adding 28,000 jobs.

On the flip side, Wisconsin’s unemployment rate has consistently stayed below the national average over the last two years.

Economists say long-term economic expectations are important in business decision making, which ultimately lead to more people being hired. But say it’s hard for businesses to model those expectations in this current economic climate, which is slowing the job growth.

“The true measure of unemployment – in a broader sense – is more like over 13-percent,” said Tom Nesslein, a professor of economics at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.

Nesslein says that number includes those who have stopped looking for jobs. Those people aren’t included in the national unemployment rate.

“Thing that was announced is a rather narrow measure,” Nesslein said of the 6.1 percent unemployment. “And most economists – liberal and conservative – would agree this broader measure is relevant.”

Particulars when it comes to gauge healthy job growth and consumer spending on the national level.

“Yeah, it’s going up – which is good,” said Nesslein. “But it’s going up much too slow and we’re sacrificing a tremendous amount – billions and billions of output in income.

Nesslein says there is only way to improve the nation’s economic recovery. He says politicians need to decide on a long-term economic policy, and stick with it.

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