According to the August 2, 2011 report by the U.S. bureau of labor statistics, non farm payroll employment was unchanged in August, and the unemployment rate remained at 9.1%.
The number of unemployed persons remained relatively unchanged at approximately 14 Million and the unemployment rate remained at 9.1 %. Healthcare employment rose by 30,000 in August, while manufacturing, professional and business services, computer systems design, and government employment did not rise.
The big question which many politicians, industry leaders and the Federal Reserve have been chiming in on is, what now for jobs? The bush era tax cuts have been extended, the federal reserve has lowered interest rates via the federal funds rate as low as they can go, & the government stimulus is over, what to do now?
The president had called for an additional stimulus, though this has become politically untenable. Republicans continue to call for tax cuts ongoing, however the deficit makes reduced government revenues at this time also unsustainable.
The housing market remains in the doldrums and it will take several more years to clear out the high numbers of foreclosures still in the pipeline. As long as there remain a high number of foreclosures, the foreclosure properties will continue to suppress home prices as they will compete against homes for sale that are not in foreclosure, whose prices will be higher. This will cause final sale prices to stay flat or decline. Even worse, this will continue to have a chilling effect on new home construction.
Private mortgage lending is still occurring at a very low percentage compared to government backed FHA housing loans. Therefore, the housing sector will not be helping create jobs anytime soon.
At this time, longer term education, workers retraining and upgrading of skills, and innovation will have to be a focus in the years to come.
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