Chief economist for the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) William C. Dunkelberg, issued the following statement on July’s job numbers, based on NFIB’s monthly economic survey that will be released on Tuesday, August 13. The survey was conducted in July and reflects the responses of 1,615 sampled NFIB members:
“July was another slow month for jobs among NFIB’s 350,000 owners, with the average increase in employment coming in at a negative 0.11 workers per firm, the third negative monthly reading in a row.
“Nine percent of the owners (down 2 points) reported adding an average of 2.9 workers per firm over the past few months. Offsetting that, 12 percent reduced employment (unchanged) an average of 2.6 workers (seasonally adjusted), producing the seasonally adjusted gain of negative 0.11 workers per firm overall. The remaining 79 percent of owners made no net change in employment. Fifty percent of the owners hired or tried to hire in the last three months and 40 percent reported few or no qualified applicants for open positions.
“Twenty percent of all owners reported job openings they could not fill in the current period (up 1 point). Fifteen percent reported using temporary workers, up 3 points from June. The health care law provides incentives to increase the use of temporary and part-time workers and June saw an increase of 360,000 part-time jobs (Household Survey) accompanied by a loss of 240,000 full-time jobs. At a “macro” level, assuming 3 part-time workers deliver 90 hours of work are being substituted for 2 full-time workers (80 hours of work), it was about a wash in terms of hours worked.
“Job creation plans rose 2 points to a net 9 percent planning to increase total employment, better, and the best reading since August of 2012. Not seasonally adjusted, 12 percent plan to increase employment at their firm (down 2 points), and 6 percent plan reductions (unchanged). Overall, there is not a lot of promise for new job growth.
“First quarter GDP growth has been revised down to 1.1 percent following 0.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012. The first estimate for the second quarter is 1.7 percent, better than expected, but revisions for the past two quarters have been negative and large so even that lousy reading may be revised downward.
“Even so, these GDP growth numbers do not square with the growth in employment averaging over 190,000 per month. What are these new employees making? The growth in part-time jobs may explain part of this “inconsistency”. But overall, the job market isn’t looking any better.”