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  • Unemployment Rate Edges Down .1% as Economy Adds 165,000 Jobs in April

    The U.S. economy added 165,000 jobs in April, almost double the number added in March. And the unemployment rate edged down from 7.6% to 7.5%, according to the Department of Labor . The labor force participation rate remained at 63.3 percent. Here's a look at the unemployment trends from the Bureau of Labor Statistics : Here are some of the key data from other areas we like to track in the monthly jobs report: In April, the number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) increased by 278,000 to 7.9 million, largely offsetting a decrease in March. These individuals were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job. In April, 2.3 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, essentially unchanged from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey. Among the marginally attached, there were 835,000 discouraged workers in April, down by 133,000 from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them. The remaining 1.5 million persons marginally attached to the labor force in April had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities. Read the full report from the BLS here .
  • SF Fed's 'Economic In Person' Series: The Great Recession and Unemployment

    One key legacy of the Great Recession will be the damage it caused to the labor market, says Mary Daly . That damage is deep and wide. And it only just begins to show up in the stats discussed in the media. In the first installment of a new series from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco , Daly--Associate Director of Research and Group Vice President at the bank--discusses four distinguishing characteristics of the recession and its impact on unemployment. frbsf on livestream.com. Broadcast Live Free
  • BLS Jobs Report: Unemployment at 9.1%

    The unemployment rate has edged up slightly to 9.1%, as the US economy only added 54,000 jobs in May, according to the latest report from the Department of Labor . There were some more signs of growth in some sectors--namely professional and business services, health care, and mining. In most other private sectors, employment was flat. It is in the government sector that jobs are still being lost. Here's a look at the unemployment trends from the Bureau of Labor Statistics : Here are some of the key data from other areas we like to track in the monthly jobs report: The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) was essentially unchanged in May at 8.5 million. These individuals were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job. In May, 2.2 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, about the same as a year earlier. (These data are not seasonally adjusted.) These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey. Among the marginally attached, there were 822,000 discouraged workers in May, a decrease of 261,000 from a year earlier. (These data are not seasonally adjusted.) Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them. The remaining 1.4 million persons marginally attached to the labor force in May had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities. Read the full report from the BLS here .
  • The Rise of Discouraged Workers

    Weekly numbers from the Department of Labor show unemployment close to nine percent. The Wall Street Journal 's David Wessel looks at the numbers and pulls out a key stat: 3.7 million Americans (more than 25 percent of the total unemployed) have been out of work for more than six months. He says the challenge now is "to keep those people from dropping out of the work force alltogether": The Bureau of Labor Statistics calls people who are available to work and have looked for work in the last 12 months, but not in the last four weeks, "marginally attached to the labor force." They don't show up in the unemployment statistics. "Discouraged workers" are a a subset of "marginally attached workers." "Discouraged workers" are people who haven't looked for work because they believe there are no jobs available. This is the category Wessel says we need to keep from growing. So far, not so good. The number of "discoiraged workers" rose 70 percent between the first quarter of 2008 and the first quarter of 2009. The number is now at 717,000. The overall number of "marginally attached" workers reached 2.1 million at the end of the first quarter. Read the Bureau of Labor Statistics paper, Ranks of Discouraged Workers and Others Marginally Attached to the Labor Force Rise During Recession .