What is there to say about today's employment numbers (which is more telling, in my opinion, that the unemployment rate):
1) The two surveys diverged slightly this month. The Employer survey (ES) (+117,000) showed improvement, the Household survey (HS) (-38,000) did not.
2) According to the HS, there are fewer jobs today than there were in: Jan-Jun of this year (in fact we are down 483,000 from May's high). There are also fewer jobs today than in: Sep 2010, Apr & May 2010, and any time between July 2004 and Aug 2009. That's right, there are the same number of jobs in the US as there were seven years ago.
3) The number of people "not in the labor force" has increased dramatically:
July 2010: 84,262
March 2011: 85,594
April 2011: 85,725
May 2011: 85,620
June 2011: 86,069 +449
July 2011: 86,443 +374K
Increase in people "not in the labor force" in the last two months: 823K--or, pushing 1 million people who've given up. And 2.181 million have given up in the last year.
4) The slope of the line on the ES is actually looking a little encouraging, though we have to wait for the revision. The final numbers came in for May this month, and they were revised down a small amount: 16K from their original release. So, it is possible that this incline might actually hold. We'll have to wait for next month to see, and we'll have to wait to see if the HS shows a similar improvement--so far, it doesn't.
Despite the improvement in the ES, the overall outlook continues to look grim.