Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Looking at the employment figures for January

What are the most recent seasonally adjusted number of job losers and persons who completed temporary jobs?

In January, the number of persons unemployed due to job loss decreased by 378,000 to 9.3 million. Nearly all of this decline occurred among permanent job losers.


Unemployment rate. 9.7% in January.

... in January, ... nonfarm payroll employment was essentially unchanged (-20,000).


In January, the number of unemployed persons decreased to 14.8 million, and the unemployment rate fell by 0.3 percentage point to 9.7 percent.


In January, unemployment rates for most major worker groups-

-adult men (10.0 percent),

teenagers (26.4 percent),

blacks (16.5 percent), and

Hispanics (12.6 percent)-

-showed little change. The jobless rate for adult women fell to 7.9 percent, and the rate for whites declined to 8.7 percent.


The labor force participation rate of persons with a disability was 21.8 percent, compared with 70.1 percent for those without a disability.


We have 6.3 million long-term unemployed out of 9.3 million officially unemployed. When we’re not in a recession the typical number of long-term unemployed is about 1.3 million. The recession has given us a group of about 5 million Americans who are facing long-term unemployment that we wouldn’t have in normal economic times.


64.7% of working-aged civilians who aren’t in institutions are in the labor force (employed or looking for unemployment).

There are 237 million working-aged civilians who don’t live in institutions.

About 153 million of these persons are working or looking for work.

That’s 64.7% of us of working age who are employed.

about 14.8 million of us are unemployed and looking for work.

Another 6.1 million of us are not in the labor force, but we would be working if we could find a job. (within this 6.1 million, there are 2.1 million who have looked for work in the past 12 months, but they hadn’t looked for work in late December or early January because they couldn’t work just then, but they were ready to work in late January. Within the 6.1 million there are another 1.1 million discouraged workers, who had looked for work in the past 12 months, but just didn’t look for work in late December or early January because they had given up hope of finding a job).


If we add these 3.2 million persons who have left the labor force but say they want a job and have looked for a job in the past 12 months, we get 18 million persons who are officially unemployed or involuntarily out of the labor force (but this also increase the labor force from 153 million to 156.2 million).

Then let’s add underemployment. There are 26.9 million of the 153 persons working are working part-time (that means really only 126.1 million of us are working full-time). Of these 26.9 million part-time workers, 8.3 million say they would rather be working full-time, but their hours have been cut at work or they weren’t able to find a full-time job.


Adding these 8.3 million to the 18 million unemployed gives us 26.3 million who want full-time jobs but don’t have full-time jobs. With a labor force of 156.2 million, that gives us a rate of 16.8% for our real unemployment and underemployment rate.