The Department of Labor announced another mixed-bag status this morning on employment.   Non-farm job losses hit 131,000 in July, thanks mainly to the departure of 143,000 Census Bureau temps.  Private-sector payrolls gained 71,000, an improvement on the past two months — but still not enough to claim overall job creation gains when considering population growth.

Total nonfarm payroll employment declined by 131,000 in July, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 9.5 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Federal government employment fell, as 143,000 temporary workers hired for the decennial census completed their work. Private-sector payroll employment edged up by 71,000.

Both the number of unemployed persons, at 14.6 million, and the unemployment rate, at 9.5 percent, were unchanged in July. …

In July, the number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks and over) was little changed at 6.6 million. These individuals made up 44.9 per-
cent of unemployed persons. (See table A-12.)

The civilian labor force participation rate (64.6 percent) and the employment-population ratio (58.4 percent) were essentially unchanged in July; however, these measures have declined by 0.6 percentage point and 0.4 point, respectively, since April.

The employment-population ratio remained at 58.4%, which means we’re still skipping along the bottom end of a generational dive. Discouraged workers remained at 1.2 million for the second straight month. The minimal job creation hasn’t moved people back into the workforce, and the population is still outgrowing the jobs.

This isn’t a Recovery Summer.  It’s a slow slide, certainly better than the rapid disintegration of 2009, but we haven’t replaced those jobs yet, either.  Job losses are cumulative.  In a normal recovery with proper economic policies of lower barriers to investor entry, we would see a rapid replacement of jobs in this time frame that would take us back to somewhere around 80% of what was lost, with the remaining 20% being the most difficult to recover.  We have not yet even begun that ascent.  I’ll update this with a couple of slides later this morning to demonstrate the problem.

Expect the White House to hail the best private-sector job creation numbers since March, but economists won’t get fooled.  We’re still descending, and will until we get job creation solidly above 100,000 new additions per month.

Update: This is ugly:

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for May was revised from +433,000 to +432,000, and the change for June was revised from -125,000 to -221,000.

That’s a subtraction of 97,000 jobs over those two months. That’s very ugly — and perhaps even “unexpected.”

Update II: Reuters notes that private-sector job growth was, ahem, “less than expected”:

Employment fell for a second straight month in July as more temporary census jobs ended while private hiring rose less than expected, pointing to an anemic economic recovery.

They also forget the point about job losses being cumulative, as they almost always do, by attempting to cheer people up about layoffs and terminations having “moderated significantly”:

Despite the tepid private sector jobs growth, the pace of layoffs has moderated significantly from the first quarter of last year, when employers were culling an average of 752,000 jobs a month.

Well, yeah — because those jobs are still lost.  No one thought that pace would continue forever, regardless of the economic policies of the Democrats.  The point is that a year later, we should be looking at significant gains in recovering those jobs, not tooting horns because the slope of the decline has shallowed out.

Update III: In Update I, I had thought the May revision was down to +422K, a drop of 11,000, when it was only a drop of 1,000 to +432K.  That makes the two-month revision 97,000, not 107,000, which I’ve fixed above.