The current unemployment rate edged up to 5.7 percent in July, hitting a four-year high, while nonfarm payrolls were down 51,000 jobs. This marks the seventh straight month companies have shed workers, but the national unemployment rate wasn't as severe as expected: economists had been anticipating 75,000 layoffs. Analysts on TV news reports offered mixed reviews of the Labor Department report, with several saying the news isn't great, but it shows a resilient economy weathering the storm.
Still, others say current unemployment rates conceal the true toll of the fickle economy, which can be seen in people working part-time jobs by no choice of their own. In July, the number of people working part time for economic reasons jumped by 308,000 to 5.7 million, an increase of 1.4 million over the last year. This includes people who want to work full time but resorted to part time because their hours had been cut, or they were unable to find full-time jobs.