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  • Unemployment Rate Drops to 7.0%

    For the second month in a row, the U.S. economy added over 200,000 jobs in November, according to the Department of Labor . The unemployment rate dropped to 7.0% (from 7.3% in October). The labor force participation rate rose to 63.0% as 455,000 people joined (or re-joined) civilian labor force. 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) fell by 331,000 to 7.7 million in November. 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 November, 2.1 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, down by 409,000 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 762,000 discouraged workers in November, down by 217,000 from a year ago. (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 1.3 million persons marginally attached to the labor force in November had not searched for work for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities. Read the full report from the BLS here .
  • Jobs Report: Unemployment 'Little Changed' in March

    The unemployment rate has ticked down another .1%, to 7.6%. The U.S. economy added 88,000 jobs in March, according to the Department of Labor . We are watching the labor force participation rate closely. It actually declined 0.2 percent to 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: The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) fell by 350,000 over the month to 7.6 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 March, 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 803,000 discouraged workers in March, little changed 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 1.5 million persons marginally attached to the labor force in March had not searched for work for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities. Read the full report from the BLS here .
  • Economix: The Rise of Part-Time Work

    The unemployment levels in the U.S. economy have taken so long to push back down that we have come to focus on the relative positives rather than the clear negatives in the data. Looking at the much higher rates of unemployment in many European economies, for example, makes a 7.7% rate look pretty good. But we also know that that number is misleading for a lot of reasons. At the Economix blog, Catherine Rampell reminds us that many of the jobs that have been coming back over the last couple of years are not of the quality of those jobs lost in 2008-2009. The share of part-time workers is significantly higher than pre-recession: When the recession began, 16.9 percent of those working usually worked part time. That share rose sharply in 2008 and 2009 and has not fallen much since then. Today the share of workers with part-time jobs is 19.2 percent. This would not be so troubling if people were electing to work fewer hours. But that is not the case. Basically all of the growth in part-time workers has been among people reluctantly working few hours because of either slack business conditions or an inability to find a full-time job. Together these people are considered to be working part time “for economic reasons.” Their numbers have grown by 3.4 million since the downturn began. The number of people working part time “for noneconomic reasons,” on the other hand, has fallen by 639,000 since the recession began. Read The Rise of Part-Time Work here .
  • U.S. Economy Adds 236,000 Jobs

    The U.S. economy added 236,000 jobs in February, pushing the unemployment rate down to 7.7%, according to the Department of Labor . Employment expanded across most sectors, with Professional and business services adding 73,000 jobs. Employment in Construction and Health care also saw solid growth, with 48,000 and 32,000 jobs added respectively. The Civilian labor force participation rate is at 63.5%. 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, at 8.0 million, was essentially unchanged in February. 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 February, 2.6 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, the same as 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 885,000 discouraged workers in February, down slightly 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 1.7 million persons marginally attached to the labor force in February 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 .
  • February Jobs Report: Unemployment at 7.9%

    The unemployment rate is now at 7.9%, as the U.S. economy added 157,000 jobs in January, according to the Department of Labor . Employment either expanded or remained flat across most sectors, with Retail trade employment leading the way with 33,000 jobs added. Construction and Health care also saw solid growth, while 19,000 jobs were lost in Transportation and warehousing . The Civilian labor force participation rate remains at 63.6%. 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 , at 8.0 million, changed little in January. 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 January, 2.4 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, down by 366,000 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 804,000 discouraged workers in January, a decline of 255,000 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 1.6 million persons marginally attached to the labor force in January 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 .
  • December Jobs Report: Unemployment Rate Drops to Lowest Level in Four Years

    The U.S. economy added 146,000 jobs in November, and the unemployment rate has declined to 7.7%, according to the Department of Labor . That is the lowest the unemployment rate has been since 2008. Most sectors saw increases in jobs. Professional and business services lead the way with 46,000 jobs added. 20,000 jobs were lost in the Construction sector. 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), at 8.2 million in November, was little changed over the month. 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 November, 2.5 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, essentially unchanged from 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 979,000 discouraged workers in November, little changed 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 1.5 million persons marginally attached to the labor force in November 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 .
  • November Jobs Report: Unemployment Rate Rises .1% to 7.9%

    The U.S. economy added 171,000 jobs in October, and the unemployment rate has risen slightly to 7.9%, according to the Department of Labor . Professional and business services had the biggest jump in employment, with 51,000 jobs added in that sector. All other sectors either added jobs or saw little change in employment figures, except for mining, where 9,000 jobs were 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) fell by 269,000 to 8.3 million in October, partially offsetting an increase of 582,000 in September. 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 October, 2.4 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, little different from 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 813,000 discouraged workers in October, a decline of 154,000 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 1.6 million persons marginally attached to the labor force in October 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 .
  • Economic Populist: 3.5 Unemployed Per Job Opening

    If you can't wait three weeks for another jobs report, the Economic Populist has broken out some of the recent jobs data to give a more complete picture of the unemployment situation in the U.S. The first staggering statistic Economic Populist shares is the number of unemployed workers per job opening, as of August: The August 2012 statistics show there were 3.52 official unemployed persons for every position available*. There were 3.561 million job openings for August, a -0.9% decrease from the previous month of 3,593,000. Openings are still way below pre-recession levels of 4.7 million. Job openings have increased 63% from their August 2009 Mariana Trench trough, yet real hiring is a distant memory. There were 1.8 persons per job opening at the start of the recession, December 2007. The job market is horrific and worse than last month. Below is the graph of official unemployed, 12.088 million, per job opening. Read Job JOLTS - There 3.5 People Looking for a Job for each Position Available in August 2012 here .
  • September Jobs Report: Unemployment Drops to 7.8%

    The unemployment rate is now at the lowest level it has since January 2009. The U.S. economy added 114,000 jobs in September, and the unemployment rate has dropped to 7.8%, according to the Department of Labor . Health care led the way with 44,000 jobs added in that sector. There was modest job loss (16,000 jobs) in the manufacturing sector. 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) rose from 8.0 million in August to 8.6 million in September. 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 September, 2.5 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, essentially unchanged from 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 802,000 discouraged workers in September, a decline of 235,000 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 1.7 million persons marginally attached to the labor force in September 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 .
  • Richmond Fed: Implications of the U.S.'s Low Labor Force Participation Rate

    While it may not be declining as quickly as many would like (especially those holding office and running for re-election), the unemployment rate has dropped over the last year. But an often overlooked factor is the number of Americans who drop out of the labor force (and then do not count toward the unemployment rate). Jesse Romero of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond unpacks some of the data over labor force participation, which now stands at 63.7%. Whatever the research eventually shows, the fact remains that millions of people who would like to be working have given up trying to find a job. According to the monthly Current Population Survey (CPS) conducted by the BLS, the share of workers not in the labor force who report that they want a job now increased from 5.5 percent prior to the recession to 8.4 percent in mid-2011, and remains elevated at 7.9 percent today — a total of 6.8 million workers. “There’s a large group of people who are counted as out of the labor force who we should be trying to find jobs for, and who would want jobs if they were available,” says Rothstein. Of the workers who want a job, 2.5 million are considered “marginally attached” to the labor force; they have searched for a job within the past year, but not within the past four weeks, and are available to work now. (The remaining workers who want a job either have not searched within the past year or are not available to work.) More than 800,000 marginally attached workers are considered “discouraged workers” — they have stopped looking for work because they do not believe that any jobs are available for them. Other reasons for not looking for work include family responsibilities, attending school or a training program, ill health or disability, or “other,” such as a lack of transportation or child care. Between 1994 and the end of 2007, discouraged workers made up about 8 percent of workers who want a job, with a high of 11 percent following the 2001 recession. (The BLS made substantial changes to the CPS in 1994 so comparisons to prior years’ data are not possible.) From the beginning of the most recent recession until the end of 2010, the share increased from 8.25 percent to 22 percent. Since then, discouraged workers have remained about 15 percent of workers who want a job. The official number probably understates the true amount of discouragement in the labor market. To be defined as a discouraged worker — a subset of the marginally attached — a worker must have searched for a job within the past year. More than 3.2 million workers say that they do want a job but that they stopped looking more than a year ago. These workers are not counted as discouraged by the CPS, but it’s likely that some of them originally quit the labor force because they were pessimistic about job opportunities. Read WHERE HAVE ALL THE WORKERS GONE? here .
  • Gallup's New Employment Measure

    With a lot of economists and economy-watchers not fully satisfied with the unemployment rate as a measure of how many Americans are out of work, Gallup is launching a new measure. Payroll to Population is designed to give a clearer picture of the percentage of all Americans who are employed full time. Gallup has been collecting data for Payroll to Population since 2010, and has now put out its first release. Here's a look at the trend since January, 2010: From the report: Gallup's Payroll to Population employment measure adds value to the understanding of the economy beyond that provided by the unemployment rate, the current gold standard of employment metrics. Both Gallup and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics assess unemployment, but Payroll to Population is a measure unique to Gallup. Payroll to Population is a straightforward measure based on the number of adults in the total population who work for an employer at least 30 hours per week. As the employment situation improves or deteriorates, or as populations move in and out of the workforce, Payroll to Population will do the same, and is a true representation of the economic energy of the country. In contrast, unemployment rates are based on the number of adults in the workforce who are looking for and available for work. This classic measure has become the main gauge of the nation's employment situation, and its long trends provide significant value, but the unemployment statistic also can paint an incomplete -- or in some instances, misleading -- portrait of the status of the workforce. Case in point, in the August jobs report released Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there was a drop in the size of the workforce -- reflecting more discouragement among job seekers -- that helped to bring the unemployment rate down. Additionally, the government's Bureau of Labor Statistics calculations involve elaborate adjustments each month, which can mask underlying trends, and traditional unemployment metrics count Americans who are working at least one hour per week as employed. In contrast, Payroll to Population will only increase or decrease if there is a change to the number of Americans working full-time jobs. Read the full release here .
  • August Jobs Report: Unemployment Rate Drops to 8.1%

    The U.S. economy added fewer jobs in August than it did in July, but the unemployment rate dropped slightly after rising over the previous month, according to the Department of Labor . 96,000 jobs were added and the unemployment rate now sits at 8.1%. 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 little changed at 8.0 million in August. 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 August, 2.6 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, essentially unchanged from 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 844,000 discouraged workers in August, a decline of 133,000 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 1.7 million persons marginally attached to the labor force in August 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
  • Unemployment Rate now 8.3%

    The unemployment rate continues to edge downward. The US economy added 243,000 jobs in January, dropping the unemployment rate to 8.3 percent, according to the Department of Labor . The private sector added 257,000 jobs during the month. 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, at 8.2 million, changed little in January. 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 January, 2.8 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 1.1 million discouraged workers in January, little different 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 1.7 million persons marginally attached to the labor force in January 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 .
  • Unemployment Down to 8.5%

    The US economy added another 200,000 jobs in December, dropping the unemployment rate to 8.5 percent, according to the Department of Labor . This capped off a relatively strong end of 2011, as the unemployment rate has dropped by 0.6 since August. The US added 1.6 million jobs during 2011. 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) declined by 371,000 to 8.1 million in December. These individuals were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job. About 2.5 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force in December, little different 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 945,000 discouraged workers in December, a decrease of 373,000 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 1.6 million persons marginally attached to the labor force in December 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 .