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Friday, October 5, 2012

A Look At the September Jobs Report

When you look a little deeper into the unemployment report for September, the numbers just don't show an improving economy or job market, no matter how you spin it. The problem is, you have to pay attention to numbers to understand them.

Here are the numbers from the September BLS jobs report:

Non-farm payroll employment rose by 114,000 jobs and the overall unemployment rate fell .3% to 7.8%.

Employment increased in the following sectors:
  • Healthcare 
  • Transportation
  • Warehousing
The manufacturing sector lost 16,000 jobs.

The number of unemployed Americans is 12,100,000 (a decrease of 456,000 from August). In September, the number of job losers and employees completing temporary assignments was 6.5 million (a decrease of 465,000).

Unemployment rates among major worker groups (numbers in parentheses show change from August):
  • Adult men: 7.3% (+ 0.2%) 
  • Adult women: 7.0% (-0.3%)
  • Teenagers: 23.7% (-0.9%)
  • Whites: 7.0% (-0.2%)
  • Blacks: 13.4% (-0.7%)
  • Hispanics: 9.9% (- 0.3%)
  • Asians: 4.8% (-1.1%)
Number of long-term unemployed (jobless for 27 weeks or more): 4,800,000 (-.04%). Long-term unemployed account for 40.1% (+ from 40%) of all unemployed persons.

The civilian work force (155,100,000 (-0.2%)) and labor force participation rate (63.6%) declined in August, (hence the drop in the overall unemployment rate). This means the civilian unemployment rate dropped because fewer civilians are looking for work.

The number of involuntary part-time workers (employed part-time for economic reasons) rose from 8.0 million in August to 8.6 million in September. According to the BLS, these workers were working part-time because their hours had been cut back or they were unable to find full-time unemployment, they are however, not considered "unemployed." This is a 0.07% increase in the number of involuntary part time workers.

The number of workers marginally attached to the workforce (defined as individuals not in the workforce but who were available for, and ready to, work) remained steady at 2,500,000. These people were not counted as unemployed because they had not looked for work in the past four weeks. This is broken down as follows:
  • 802,000 discouraged workers (defined as those workers who have given up looking for work because they feel there is no job available to them)
  • The remaining 1,700,000 did not look for work because of other reasons
  • There is essentially no change in these numbers from August
The overall unemployment rate (total unemployed + marginally attached + employed part-time for economic reasons) is just below 15%. Please read the Global Economic Intersection report for further details.

Courtesy: Global Economic Intersection

Simply put, the overall employment picture in the United States is grim, regardless of how the Feds spin them.

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