The July 2013 employment situation summary was released by the Department of Labor this morning and the news is mixed – the unemployment rate dropped to 7.4 percent from 7.6 percent in June, but hiring missed expectations. The last time the nation saw an unemployment rate lower than 7.5 percent was in December 2008, when unemployment was at 7.3 percent.

According to MarketWatch, economists predicted that 180,000 new jobs would be created last month but the initial report shows only 162,000 new jobs. Of course, this number could be revised upward in the coming months but as it stands now, the economic recovery is more like a turtle than a hare. 

Slow and steady wins the race, unless you’re one of the millions of Americans that are underemployed or have simply given up hope of finding full time work. Unemployment rates vary by population and range from 5.7 percent to 23.7 percent:

  • Adult females: 6.5 percent
  • Adult males: 7.0 percent
  • Teens: 23.7 percent
  • African-Americans: 12.6 percent
  • Hispanics: 9.4 percent
  • Whites: 6.6 percent
  • Asians: 5.7 percent
There are 11.5 million unemployed Americans and 4.2 million of these individuals have been out of work for 27 weeks or longer. The number of involuntary part-time workers, which are individuals that want to work full time but aren’t because of the job market, remained steady at 8.2 million and in my opinion, this figure tells the sad story of the jobs recovery – it is a temporary or part-time recovery. If you’re in the market of a temp job, you’re in luck. If you need to support yourself or your family with a full-time job and benefits, good luck.

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