Friday, December 5, 2008

Employment Numbers Are Even Worse Then They Seem

The latest round of employment numbers have certainly not been very optimistic, however, in reality they are even worse than they seem. Economics professor Mark Thoma from the Economist's View looks at a couple of these reports in his blog post below.

Why isn't a stimulus package already in place?:

US job losses steepest since 1974, FT: The US economy lost a stunning 533,000 jobs in November – the largest monthly drop in more than three decades – as the unemployment rate jumped to 6.7 per cent...

The report marked the 11th consecutive month of job losses in the US economy...

With upward revisions to both September and October showing sharper job cuts than previously reported, the economy has lost more than 1.2m jobs in the last three month alone, bringing the tally for the year to more than 2m, the data showed. ...

The job losses were coupled with disheartening data for the broader market. The number of people who worked part-time for economic reasons – including those who would like to work full-time – continued to increase and reached 7.3m, having risen by 2.8m in the past 12 months. Though the average hourly earnings rose by 7 cents, or 0.4 per cent, the average work week fell by 0.1 hour to 33.5 hours. ...

Update: David Leonhardt at Economix:

Workers Give Up By David Leonhardt: How bad was today’s jobs report? The unemployment rate rose to 6.7 percent, its highest level since 1993 — and that understated the weakness in the labor market.

According to the Labor Department, the number of unemployed workers rose by 251,000 in November. But the number of people who were outside of the labor force — that is, neither working nor looking for work — rose by much more: 637,000. These people aren’t counted as unemployed in the government’s statistics, because they are not looking for work. Many of them, presumably, have stopped looking for work because they didn’t think they could find a good job. ...


Broader Unemployment Rate Hits 12.5%, RTE: The headline unemployment rate of 6.7% in November isn’t the only one the Labor Department reports. They also break the rate down by age, gender, ethnicity, and education. And in table A-12, on page 19 of the report, they also share their broadest estimate of the unemployment rate, which includes the total unemployed (the standard rate) plus “all marginally attached workers, plus total employed part time for economic reasons… plus all marginally attached workers.”

That rate (called “U-6”) in November? A whopping 12.5%. ...

This article has been reposted from the Economist's View. The full post can also be viewed on the Economist's View.

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December 5, 2008 at 11:44 PM James Raider said...


That will in time reverse the payroll trend.

The American economy rests on the back of the American worker and consumer. Taxpayers own the government and currency is only a tool enabling commerce.

Take charge of it. Get it working for you, not against you.

Once this is done, the other problems will resolve naturally, including home owners making their payments.

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