White House ‘More Precisely’ on Unemployment: ‘Rate Rose From 8.217% in June to 8.254% in July

By Matt Cover | August 3, 2012 | 2:30 PM EDT

President Barack Obama speaks at a campaign event. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

(CNSNews.com) – Although the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) announced today that the unemployment rate for July at 8.3 percent was up slightly from 8.2 percent in June, the White House stressed that the uptick was actually 8.217 percent to 8.254 percent, which rounded is 8.3 percent.

White House chief economist Alan Krueger, on the White House Blog, wrote today: “The household survey showed that the unemployment rate ticked up to 8.3 percent in July (or, more precisely, the rate rose from 8.217 percent in June to 8.254 percent in July). Acting BLS Commissioner John Galvin noted in his statement that the unemployment rate was ‘essentially unchanged’ from June to July.”

While Kreuger made a point of noting the unemployment rise to the thousandths (right of the decimal point), he did not do that back in May when the unemployment had fallen slightly from the March to April number.

When the unemployment rate declined from 8.2 percent (in March) to 8.1 percent (in April), Krueger wrote that the rate had “dipped.”

“The unemployment rate dipped from 8.2 percent in March to 8.1percent in April,” Krueger wrote on May 4.

At the time, Krueger described the 0.1 percent decline in unemployment as a sign that the economy was improving.

“Today’s employment report provides further evidence that the economy is continuing to heal from the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression,” he said in May. “It is critical that we continue the economic policies that are helping us dig our way out of the deep hole that was caused by the severe recession that began at the end of 2007.”

Now, however, Krueger claims that the unemployment rate – which has risen from 8.1 percent in April to 8.3 percent in July – is nothing much to worry about, and that July’s jobs report is also evidence of an improving economy.

“While there is more work that remains to be done, today’s employment report provides further evidence that the U.S. economy is continuing to recover from the worst downturn since the Great Depression,” Krueger wrote on Friday.