National payroll giant ADP and the Department of Labor both issued job reports this week with differing results.
ADP, which reported 133,000 new jobs in May, released a report on July 5 showing that the private sector added 176,000 new jobs in June. That news was lauded by many, including Joel Prakken, chairman of Macroeconomic Advisers.
“The gain in private employment is strong enough to suggest that the national unemployment rate may have declined in June,” Prakken said in a statement.
However, on July 6, the Labor Department’s report on unemployment gave a more sobering view of the situation as the unemployment rate remained stagnant overall in June and deepened for Blacks.
According to the Labor Department, the unemployment rate for African Americans ticked up to 14.4 percent from 13.6 percent in May.
“This economy has no forward momentum and little help from monetary or fiscal policy,” Kathy Bostjancic, director of macroeconomic analysis for the Conference Board, told the New York Times. “As if that were not enough, ill winds are blowing in from both a contracting Europe and slowing growth in emerging markets. Also, domestic lawmakers’ inaction on the upcoming ‘fiscal cliff’ creates uncertainty that is not conducive to hiring.”
Overall, unemployment remained stagnant at 8.2 percent in June, Labor reported. It is still lower than the 9.1 percent recorded in June 2011. The 14.4 percent Black unemployment rate is down from the 16.2 percent in June 2011, but is still nearly double the 7.4 percent unemployment for Whites.
There was more bad economic news, as well. Retailers reported lower than expected sales for June. According to MarketWatch, Costco, Macy’s and Target all reported sales lower than expected.
“Year-to-date same-store sales results have been volatile, driven in part by various economic and political uncertainties as well as unseasonable weather,” President and CEO John Cato at women’s clothing retailer Cato Corp., told MarketWatch. “It is likely this volatility will continue and we remain cautious as we look toward the second half of the year.”