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disemployment

The BLS Jobs Report Covering April 2014: A Tale of Two Contradictory Reports And Deeply Mixed Messages

The Brief Version
This is a very schizophrenic jobs report. In the seasonally adjusted “official” data, the unemployment rate dropped an amazing four-tenths of a percent to 6.3% but this was accomplished completely by contraction in the labor force (-806,000) and employment actually fell slightly. Read below the fold...

The Jobs Report For March 2014: After A Long Winter, The Economy Plays Some Catchup

The Brief Version

The usual seasonal spring rebuild in jobs was delayed a little this year due to the extended and severe winter. In March, some of this ground was recovered making it a particularly good month in seasonal terms. The labor force grew 600,000. This increase was comprised of a 956,000 rise in employment and a 356,000 drop in unemployment. What this means is that for each unemployed person who found work in March, two who were not counted in the labor force at all found work. Read below the fold...

BLS Jobs Report Covering January 2014: Revisions and Seasonal Lows

The Brief Version

Because of yearly revisions, direct December-January comparisons are dicey. I will just note that, in the business survey, seasonally adjusted 197,000 jobs were added December 2012-January 2013 as compared with 113,000 this month, December 2013-January 2014. Keep in mind that anything below 200,000 is weak, and anything below 150,000 is bad. Read below the fold...

The BLS Jobs Report Covering December 2013: A Bad Report

The short story is this. In the Household survey, seasonally adjusted unemployment fell an incredible three-tenths of a percent to 6.7% in December. The labor force is around 155 million. 0.3% of that is around 450,000 workers. In fact, it was 490,000. Yet the Business survey reported, also seasonally adjusted, an increase of just 74,000 as compared to the upwardly revised November number of 241,000. Read below the fold...

The BLS Report Covering November 2013: Effects of the Government Shutdown Fade, Part Time Work Increases

In the household survey on employment, seasonally unadjusted, the October government shutdown took out expected October highs and created losses in numerous categories. In November, these were largely reversed. The biggest ongoing hit is to the labor force which is still 490,000 smaller than it was in September. And while employment increased, unadjusted, 631,000, most of this was in part time jobs (554,000). Read below the fold...

The BLS Jobs Report Covering October 2013: Effects of the Shutdown Mostly Hidden But Still Large

The October 2013 shutdown of the federal government affected seasonally unadjusted data in the Household survey only. It did not affect seasonally adjusted data in the Household survey or any data, adjusted or unadjusted, in the Establishment survey. Since official numbers, like the unemployment rate (7.3%) and jobs created (204,000), are seasonally adjusted, no effect from the government shutdown will be seen in them. Read below the fold...

The BLS Jobs Report Covering July 2013: Slow Build But In Poor Quality Jobs

The short version:
In July, unemployment fell to 7.4%. This was because the labor force seasonally adjusted (trendline) was largely unchanged and so most of the 227,000 increase in employment came from net hiring among the unemployed and not those entering the labor force. Employment remains 2 million below the last peak in January 2008. Read below the fold...

BLS Jobs Report Covering June 2013: Seasonal Factors Rule At The Summer Peak

The short version:
Seasonally adjusted, June was not a bad month for jobs, and with the revisions to April and May, job creation has been near 195,000/month for the last three months. However, we need about 90,000 a month to keep up with population growth. So we are talking about 100,000 a month over and above population growth. And we are still some 2.3 million jobs below the November 2007 peak in jobs. So it would take us nearly two years of such growth to get back to where we were 5 1/2 years ago. Read below the fold...

BLS Jobs Report Covering May 2013: About As Good As It Is Going To Get And Still Too Insufficient By Far

The short version: May is usually a strong month for job creation. So while seasonally adjusted job creation is reported at 175,000, it actually increased by 885,000. This puts the January-June job creation period in line with and slightly better than the last 3 years. The problem is that this is still a very slow growth rate insufficient to deal with the enormous ongoing shortfall in jobs. And the quality of jobs being created remains crap. Read below the fold...

BLS Jobs Report Covering April 2013

Short Form: In seasonally adjusted terms, 165,000 jobs and unemployment dropping to 7.5% are OK, but not great results. At that job creation rate and taking population growth into account, it would take about 2 years to reduce by one million those currently unemployed. The BLS estimates current unemployment at 11.815 million. I calculate it at 20.542 million. So perhaps I should not say OK but rather next to nothing is being done to address the jobs situation. Read below the fold...

BLS Jobs Report Covering March 2013: Blah Trend Numbers but Some Seasonal Strength Although Not As Good As Previous Years

Short Form: In March, in the Household survey, the BLS undercount of those unemployed grew, and the labor force became smaller. It will take 6-12 months to know whether the declines we are seeing in the size of the labor force are cyclical or secular. The adjusted and unadjusted numbers for the labor force showed different pictures. Adjusted (trend line), the labor force fell with employment and unemployment also falling. Read below the fold...

BLS Jobs Report Covering February 2013: A Solid Seasonal Rebound

In brief: Trendline, 236,000 jobs were added in February and the official unemployment rate fell to 7.7%. Actual jobs increased 959,000 but this followed a loss of 2.840 million last month. Similarly, employment rose 614,000 this month against a 1.446 million loss last month. However, notably the size of the labor force did not increase. The current rebuild and expansion of jobs should continue for the next two to three months. If this growth is choked off by the sequester or austerity, the consequences will extend through the rest of the year. My recalculated rate of unemployment remains high and declined only slightly to 12.5%. Hours increased this month which is good but wage gains taking inflation into account remain largely flat. Read below the fold...

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