Friday, October 5, 2012

Unemployment Drops to 7.8% - Lowest Level Since January 2009

Ken O'Brien

The unemployment rate decreased to 7.8 percent in September, and total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 114,000, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment increased in health care and in transportation and warehousing but changed little in most other major industries.
Household Survey Data The unemployment rate declined by 0.3 percentage point to 7.8 percent in September. For the first 8 months of the year, the rate held within a narrow range of 8.1 and 8.3 percent. The number of unemployed persons, at 12.1 million, decreased by 456,000 in September. 
Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (7.3 percent), adult women (7.0 percent), and whites (7.0 percent) declined over the month. The unemployment rates for teenagers (23.7 percent), blacks (13.4 percent), and Hispanics (9.9 percent) were little changed. The jobless rate for Asians, at 4.8 percent (not seasonally adjusted), fell over the year. In September, the number of job losers and persons who completed temporary jobs decreased by 468,000 to 6.5 million. The number of persons unemployed for less than 5 weeks declined by 302,000 over the month to 2.5 million. The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was little changed at 4.8 million and accounted for 40.1 percent of the unemployed. Total employment rose by 873,000 in September, following 3 months of little change. The employment-population ratio increased by 0.4 percentage point to 58.7 percent, after edging down in the prior 2 months. The overall trend in the employment-population ratio for this year has been flat. The civilian labor force rose by 418,000 to 155.1 million in September, while the labor force participation rate was little changed at 63.6 percent. 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. Establishment Survey Data Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 114,000 in September. In 2012, employment growth has averaged 146,000 per month, compared with an average monthly gain of 153,000 in 2011. In September, employment rose in health care and in transportation and warehousing. Health care added 44,000 jobs in September. Job gains continued in ambulatory health care services (+30,000) and hospitals (+8,000). Over the past year, employment in health care has risen by 295,000. In September, employment increased by 17,000 in transportation and warehousing. Within the industry, there were job gains in transit and ground passenger transportation (+9,000) and in warehousing and storage (+4,000). Employment in financial activities edged up in September (+13,000), reflecting modest job growth in credit intermediation (+6,000) and real estate (+7,000). Manufacturing employment edged down in September (-16,000). On net, manufacturing employment has been unchanged since April. In September, job losses occurred in computer and electronic products (-6,000) and in printing and related activities (-3,000). Employment in other major industries, including mining and logging, construction, wholesale trade, retail trade, information, professional and business services, leisure and hospitality, and government, showed little change over the month. The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls edged up by 0.1 hour to 34.5 hours in September. The manufacturing workweek edged up by 0.1 hour to 40.6 hours, and factory overtime was unchanged at 3.2 hours. The average workweek for production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls was unchanged at 33.7 hours. In September, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 7 cents to $23.58. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have risen by 1.8 percent. In September, average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees increased by 5 cents to $19.81. The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for July was revised from +141,000 to +181,000, and the change for August was revised from +96,000 to +142,000.

10 comments:

  1. Let us just use the statistics that make us feel good and ignore the, as Paul Harvey might say, the rest of the story. The number cited as the Official Unemployment Rate only counts the number of people who looked for a job in the last 4 weeks. It does not count those who have given up looking or those who are working only part time or who are underemployed(college graduate working full time at a fast food restaurant.) The total unemployment rate is 14.7 percent and has only dropped by 1 percentage point in the last year.
    So, the “Official Unemployment Rate” is 7.8 it has also only dropped by 1 percent in the last year. I think POTUS’s campaign strategy of celebrating that number may very well hurt him in the long run. There are way to many people in this country that supported him in 08 but are now in the 14.7 percent, especially all those college students who now have their degrees and are working in their nightmare jobs – fast food restaurants.

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    1. Keep denying empirical reality. The fact is that Obama now has a net positive increase in jobs during his first four years, whereas Bush had a net negative during his tenure.
      The “miraculous” achievement of the latest jobs report actually reflects a growing conformity with prior private sector reports from ADP.
      As regards the “real unemployment” number, the U6 unemployment series, this is something that was never focused upon in prior recessions, which paled in comparisons to this one.
      The fundamental reality is that Obama’s economic policies, despite being stymied for two years by the Tea Party nutbags elected in 2010, have still made progress.
      Compare the results for the US, which adopted a Keynesian policy of stimulus, to the rest of the Western world. Europe adopted the Republican austerity approach to the 2008 crisis. The facts are documented in my previous article The Facts Are In: Stimulus Worked - Republican Plan Fails.

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  2. How can you claim a gain in jobs with more people either unemployed or underemployed than when he began?

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    Replies
    1. Uhh, four years of population growth maybe?
      More people unemployed, but proportionately more people employed. I realize Obama haters live years in the past but statistics don't.

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    2. You might also want to consider the observation made yesterday in Salon by Adele Stan, "Since Obama took office, Republicans have sought to game the unemployment numbers at the state and local levels by forcing layoffs of public employees through anti-union austerity measures. According to an analysis by Moody’s Analytics (reported by the New York Times in June), unemployment figures would be a percentage point lower were it not for all the public-sector layoffs."

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  3. The Obamanomics stimulus package ran out so the public sector who was depending on that money to pay teachers, cops, etc had to let them go. If I was a parent or teacher in places like Dudly and Charlton, I would definitely not be voting for the Obamunist Party come November.

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    1. Talk about a dumb ass. Don't vote for the guy who tried to keep them employed, vote for the party that cut money from the budget.

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  4. Just like a liberal, when confronted with facts that you don't like you start calling names. How about these facts: How can you cut money from the budget when there has been no budget in 4 years; the stimulus money (put on the China Credit Card) runs out. Hey I have an Idea let's put more money on the China charge account. Let's let our grandchildren worry about how they are going to pay it off. Thou shalt look in the mirror and find out what dumb really looks like.

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  5. You had this all day. How come no crazy leftest retort.

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    Replies
    1. Because I'm tired of wasting my time on idiots who have absolutely no understanding of reality or economics. P.S. Japan is the number one purchaser of US debt.

      Delete

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