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The BLS Jobs Report Covering June 2011: Yuck!

The number that the media will no doubt push this month from the BLS jobs report for June is the poor jobs number (18,000) from the Establishment data. May's number was revised from 54,000 to 25,000. So really we are looking at two months of extremely poor job creation. The private sector added 57,000 jobs and government lost 39,000. We should expect to see continued job losses in government due to deepening budget cuts and government workers retiring out in face of the federal wage freeze and the frenzy of state legislation targeted against them.

The number of jobs needed just to stay even with population growth was 102,000. In other words, we are losing ground. This number would be about 10,000 higher than it is but for the decline in the employment-population ratio. This is expected. Employment is not keeping up with population growth. The decline in the employment-population ratio is a measure of this.

The real story is, however, in the Household data. Unemployment rose a tenth of a percent to 9.2%, but the big number here is that the number of employed decreased by 445,000 in June. 173,000 became unemployed and 272,000 left the labor force, that is they stopped being counted by the BLS.

The broader U-6 measure of the un- and under- employment rate jumped 0.4% to 16.2%. My calculation of BLS disemployment was 18.2%. My own estimate of the disemployment rate was 18.5%. You can see how the problem expands:

U-3: 14.087 million
U-6: 25.291 million (calculated)
Disemployment: 29.628 million (my estimate)

Disemployment affects twice as many people as the official unemployment rate suggests and is closing in on 30 million.

You can also see how our political elites contract the problem by reading those numbers the opposite way from larger to smaller. Then consider the push by Obama and others to redefine structural unemployment upwards. If we increase the "natural" unemployment to 7%, then the unemployment problem shrinks to a 2.2% gap between 7% and 9.2% or 3.375 million. Our elites simply define nearly 90% of the crisis in disemployment away. And this is before we begin talking about the declining quality of jobs Americans who are employed are holding.

Elsewhere, in June, both hours worked and hourly wages edged downward, neither good signs. Unemployment among whites increased slightly to 8.1% and unemployment among African-Americans was unchanged at 16.2%, twice that of whites. Unemployment among 16-19 year olds was 24.5%. In January 2001, it was 13.8%. Part time employment was unchanged at 8.5 million.

This is not only not a good report. It is actually quite a bad report and taken together with May shows a developing trend. Against the backdrop of Obama and the Democrats scheming with the Republicans to slash government programs, it highlights the pathologically destructive nature of those efforts.


Non-institutional Population over 16 (NIP): 239.489 million

Change in NIP: 176,000

Number of Jobs Needed Just to Stay Even (with Population Growth)(Calculated): 102,000

Labor Force (Employed and Unemployed): 153.421 million

Change in Labor Force: -272,000

Change in Labor Force participation rate: 64.2 > 64.1

Change in Employment: -445,000

Change in Employment-Population ratio: 58.4 > 58.2

U-3 Unemployed: 14.087 million

Change in Unemployment: 173,000

Change in Unemployment (U-3) rate: 9.1 > 9.2

U-6 (Calculated): 25.291 million

Change in Unemployment (U-6) rate: 15.8 > 16.2

*Not in Labor Force Want a Job Now: 6.537 million

*BLS measure of its undercount

Change in Not in Labor Force Want a Job Now: 310,000

*Marginally attached: 2.7 million

*Persons marginally attached to the labor force are those who currently are neither working nor looking for work but indicate that they want and are available for a job and have looked for work sometime in the past 12 months.

Change in Marginally attached: 2.2 million > 2.7 million

*My Estimate of true Labor Force:160.458 million


My Estimate of BLS Undercount: 7.037 million

My Estimate of Disemployed: 29.628 million

My Estimate of Disemployment rate: 18.5%

BLS Disemployed (Calculated): 29.128 million

BLS Disemployment (Calculated): 18.2%

Unemployment (U-3) rate 16-19 year olds (June 2011): 24.5%
Unemployment (U-3) rate 16-19 year olds (January 2001): 13.8%

Unemployment rate (White): 8.0 > 8.1
Unemployment rate (African-American): 16.2% (unchanged)

*Part-time for Economic Reasons: 8.548 million > 8.552 million

*Persons employed part time for economic reasons are those who want and are available for full-time work but have had to settle for a part-time schedule.

Change in average work week: 34.4 > 34.3
Change in average hourly earnings: $23.00 > $22.99

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Submitted by jawbone on

When I first heard the news, I heard this gobbldygook of numbers on either BBC or NPR news caps. For some reason, they ended up saying they were not bad, things would even out, or some happy horsepuck.

When I saw the numbers, I had no idea how they could come up with even an initial report like that. Spin machine gone off the rails?

I'm imagining it comes as a shock to Tea Party types that government jobs, when lost, count in the unemployment numbers.

Also, the disturbing thing to me is the lower wages per hour worked -- not huge, but also not a good sign. I'm making an assumption that whatever new jobs came on line were lower paying relative to some of the jobs lost? Or does it go further than that? That Repubs have achieved their Cheap Labor dream?

I did hear one report about Lordstown, OH, and higher employment for the Chevy Cruze. Good there were jobs, bad thing is most were working for less pay.

Submitted by jawbone on

reelection strategy:

21. Boom, Mississippi, July 8th, 2011, 12:48 pm
I've been wondering how Obama expects to get reelected without support from his base, with high unemployment, and with a rabid opposition. When this morning it hit me: his reelection strategy is.......Very Serious. The Centrist Fairy will send in droves of moderates riding ponies to sweep him to victory!

I expect it to be just as successful as his Very Serious Economics.

From Krugman's post on "Falling Wages."

twig's picture
Submitted by twig on

just so the people who are responsible for this horrible situation -- the lost jobs, lost homes, lost futures -- can spend eternity there. I would take that in lieu of a pony.