Jobs | timiacono.com

The Labor Department reported that U.S. employers added a better-than-expected 288,000 jobs in June and the unemployment rate fell from 6.3 percent to 6.1 percent, a six year low.

Payrolls for April and May were revised upward by a combined 29,000 and April’s revised gain of 304,000 marked the biggest increase in jobs in two and a half years. After a dismal winter when payrolls increased by an average of just 150,000, the last three months have seen average gains of 272,000.

The household survey also showed marked improvement as the jobless rate fell for all the right reasons, though the labor force participation rate was unchanged near multi-decade lows at 62.8 percent. Some 407,000 people were newly counted as employed and the official count of “unemployed” Americans fell by 325,000.

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Now that the U.S. team has been eliminated from the World Cup, we ‘Mericans can focus on what we really do best – inflating asset bubbles – and that effort should be bolstered by what is shaping up to be a big number in the nonfarm payrolls data due out from the Labor Department on Thursday, just prior to the nation celebrating its 238th birthday on Friday.

From these two reports at Gallup come the charts below indicating all systems are go.

Of course, it doesn’t hurt that payroll processor ADP reported earlier today that the private sector added 281,000 jobs last month, the biggest job creation total since November 2012.

This should be much more fun than watching soccer…

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The Labor Department reported that U.S. employers added to their payrolls at a solid pace in May, paced by a big increase in the health care industry, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at a five-and-a-half year low of 6.3 percent.

Employment returned to pre-recession levels with the rise of 217,000 in payrolls last month that was in line with analysts’ estimates and this comes after a gain of 203,000 in March and a downwardly revised increase of 282,000 in April.

The winter slowdown is now clearly over as the three-month average payrolls gain has increased from just 150,000 in February to 234,000 in May.

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Jobless and Obese

This Washington Post story looks at the relationship between unemployment and obesity as a subset of the population in parts of the country (mostly low-skilled workers) make things even more difficult for themselves by showing up to job interviews with added girth.

Recent studies and surveys have shown a distinct relationship between unemployment and obesity, particularly for lower-skilled workers who struggle to find work — a search made more challenging by their weight.

In Hagerstown, where blue-collar jobs have gone overseas or to cheaper parts of the country, 8.4 percent are unemployed — well above Maryland’s 5.9 percent rate. Last month, Gallup identified the area as the third-heaviest place in the United States, with almost 37 percent of its residents obese. Local studies put the number even higher.

This is a fascinating subject on many levels.

First, obesity rates vary widely (no pun intended) within the U.S. based on demographics and cultural norms that seem pretty hard to reverse (note that there’s a “least obese” chart with the WaPo article and most areas are either in the West or the Northeast).

Also, obesity amongst the poor (or, unemployed in this case) is something fairly new in history as hundreds of years ago it used to be just kings and royal families who were obese and this was considered to be sign of wealth. Poor and fat is pretty common today.

Moreover, the food industry and awful government dietary guidelines are only making the problem worse in the U.S. as it costs a little more to eat better, assuming you knew how (which most people don’t). Those out of work and packing on the pounds are likely doing so, in part, because they’re cutting back on spending and buying high calorie/low cost food that the U.S. food industry excels at producing.

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