Happy jobs day! First, the immediate good news: The June report showed the U.S. economy added 195,000 in June, strongly beating expectations in the 150,000-165,000 range. The unemployment rate, meanwhile, was unchanged at 7.6 percent.
But now for the really good news: We were quite wrong about job gains in April and May. Initial reports from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed a jobs gain of 149,000 in April and 175,000 in May. In the latest reports, those numbers were revised upward to 199,000 in April and 195,000 in May. That's a combined gain of 70,000 jobs from earlier reports. So, since April, it turns out that the economy has actually gained nearly 200,000 new jobs a month.
Not everything is perfect, of course: 7.6 percent unemployment is still rather dreary, and the number of long-term unemployed in June was largely unchanged at 4.3 million, or 36.7 percent of the unemployed. In other words, one in three unemployed people have been out of work for at least 27 weeks—a predicament that comes with a host of problems. Job declines in the public sector were also, again, a big drag on the economy, with 7,000 losses in June in government jobs. Although compared with the 12,000 government jobs lost in May, that number doesn't look quite as bad. Additionally, the unemployment rate for adult women actually went up in June to 6.8 percent.
The economy obviously is not in the clear yet. But the revisions, in concert with a strong June report, shows that we may at least be on the right path.