What You Don’t Know About Today’s Unemployment Rate News Release

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released the latest economic news today that the unemployment rate was 7.9 percent but that doesn’t tell the whole story. How many people are working? The civilian labor force is 155.6 million, up 578,000 in October, and the participation rate is 63.8 percent. How many new jobs were added in October? Total employment for October 2012 rose by 410,000 and nonfarm employment rose in October by 171,000. How many people are not working? There were 12.3 million people unemployed in October 2012.

We still have 8.3 million workers employed part-time because their hours were cut back or they were unable to find work, down 269,000 in October. What you don’t see is that we have 2.4 million people “marginally attached” to the work force, about the same as last year. These individuals are not in the labor force but had looked for a job sometime in the last 12 months and are wanting to work and are available for work. They are NOT counted. If they were counted, the 2.4 million would be added to the 12.4 million reported unemployed for a total of 14.8 million and an unemployment rate would be 9.5 percent. The number of long-term unemployed, jobless for over 27 weeks, was 5 million, around 40 percent of total unemployed.

11.02.12 chart unemployment

11.02.12 chart unemployment

The bottom line is that with large numbers of people not working, the economy has no driving forces to grow rapidly. Which is why we are witnessing slow GDP growth, 30 year treasury rates at 2.92% ans 2 year treasury notes at .28 percent.

But that’s not all you need to know. The unemployment rate is not the same for all groups. For teenagers, the unemployment rate is 23.7 percent, for blacks 14.3 percent, for Hispanics 10 percent, Asians 4.9 percent, whites 7 percent, adult men 7.3 percent and adult women 7.2 percent.

pie chart unemployment rate by category

pie chart unemployment rate by category

Where Is The Job Growth?

Professional and business services added 51,000 job in October, health care added 31,000 jobs, retail 36,000 jobs, leisure and hospitality added 28,000 jobs.

 

unemployment by industry

unemployment by industry

  How Are The Numbers Calculated?

This news release presents statistics from two major surveys, the Current Population Survey and the Current Employment Statistics survey. The household survey provides information on the labor force, employment, and unemployment that is a sample survey of about 60,000 eligible households conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau for the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The establishment survey provides information on employment, hours, and earnings of employees on nonfarm payrolls; the data is collected  each month from the payroll records of a sample of nonagricultural business establishments. Each month the CES program surveys about 141,000 businesses and government agencies, representing approximately 486,000 individual worksites, in order to provide detailed industry data on employment, hours, and earnings of workers on nonfarm payrolls. The active sample includes approximately one-third of all nonfarm payroll employees.
For both surveys, the data for a given month relate to a particular week or pay period. In the household survey, the reference period is generally the calendar week that contains the 12th day of the month. In the establishment survey, the reference period is the pay period including the 12th, which may or may not correspond directly to the calendar week.

Sources:

www.louisianacommercialrealty.com

http://www.bls.gov/news.release

www.bloomberg.com

 

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