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Job talk: Employment growth remains slow go

Friday's employment news from the U.S. Department of Labor was sobering: Even though the nation's unemployment rate for July remained unchanged at 9.5 percent, the nation gained just 12,000 jobs overall for the month -- a drop in the economic recovery bucket.

According to the report, private employers added a net total of 71,000 jobs in July, but that was offset by government cuts at the local, state and federal levels, analysts said.

Economists say that 150,000 to 200,000 jobs must be created every month to reduce the national unemployment rate.

The U.S. economy has shed about 8 million jobs since the recession started in December 2007. According to the St. Louis Federal Reserve, 73,500 jobs were lost in the St. Louis area between February 2008 and June 2010.

Local unemployment rates for June 2010 also reflected minimal growth in the St. Louis area market. Here, in percents, are jobless rates for some communities in the bi-state area, courtesy of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The numbers in parenthesis are the rates from June 2009.


Chesterfield6.8 (6.9)
Hazelwood9.9 (10.1)
Kirkwood7.0 (7.5)
O’Fallon, Mo.7.2 (7.7)
St. Louis city12.2 (12.8)
University City8.7 (8.8)


Alton12.6 (11.6)
Belleville11.4 (10.8)
East St. Louis17.5 (17.0)
Granite City12.0 (15.2)
O’Fallon, Ill.9.1 (8.1)

This article originally appeared in the St. Louis Beacon.

Mary Delach Leonard is a veteran journalist who joined the St. Louis Beacon staff in April 2008 after a 17-year career at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, where she was a reporter and an editor in the features section. Her work has been cited for awards by the Missouri Associated Press Managing Editors, the Missouri Press Association and the Illinois Press Association. In 2010, the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis honored her with a Spirit of Justice Award in recognition of her work on the housing crisis. Leonard began her newspaper career at the Belleville News-Democrat after earning a degree in mass communications from Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville, where she now serves as an adjunct faculty member. She is partial to pomeranians and Cardinals.