MAY#: +38,000 jobs, unemployment rate drops to 4.7%. Details soon. April details here!.. Jobs since Obama took office?... Unemp. rate under Obama?

Friday, June 3, 2016

Does Anybody Care About Jobs Numbers Anymore?

Another first Friday of the month, and another jobs report to be released any minute.


When I first started paying attention to jobs numbers we were losing hundreds of thousands of them every month.  And the initial BLS monthly estimates were often underestimating the number of jobs we were actually losing!
How many jobs did we lose in late 2008 and early 2009?
The numbers are still staggering.

From November 2008 through the first six months of 2009:  

  • November 2008:  769,000 jobs lost
  • December 2008:  695,000
  • January 2009:      791,000 
  • February 2009:    703,000
  • March 2009:        823,000
  • April 2009:           686,000
  • May 2009:            351,000
  • June 2009:          470,000
These are net job losses, which means that even though some people were still being hired, many hundreds of thousands more were losing their jobs every month.  In fact, from late 2008 throughout 2009, over 2.5 million people lost their jobs, went from employed to unemployed, every month.  Now only about 1.7 million are going from employed to unemployed every month, and that is the lowest number of people losing their jobs since the Clinton years in the late 1990's. 

The misery of the recession.

We didn't start adding jobs again until early 2010.  It's painful to remember the misery of those years; the number of people trying desperately to hang onto their jobs, their homes, their dignity.  There are few things worse, other than serious chronic illness, than trying to find an income and keep the heat on and keep a roof over your head.  It's degrading and demoralizing.  

The highlight of the month

So the highlight of the month became the monthly jobs reports.  The Republicans picked endlessly at Obama and the Democrats because the numbers weren't turning around fast enough for them (even though the jobs numbers almost ALWAYS do better under Democratic administrations, this going back decades).  They then started lying about the jobs numbers; saying the "real" unemployment rate was the alternate unemployment rate or that seasonal adjustments were wrong, inferring that Obama was somehow forcing the Bureau of Labor Statistics to lie about the monthly jobs numbers.

But here we are, seven and a half years later.  We have something like 14 million more jobs than we did at the "trough" of the recession back in early 2010.  We have about half the number of people unemployed that we used to, and finally, after years of stagnation, the inflation-adjusted hourly and weekly wage for non-supervisory and production workers (that is, regular workers) has actually turned the corner and is headed back up.  People are now earning about what they were earning in the late 1970's.  That's an improvement.  

We aren't there yet; this recession was miserable, and many older people, many Baby Boomers who lost their jobs and their retirement savings in the recent abyss simply don't have enough time to recover.  Many usually-middle class people got to see what it was like to live as the poor and working poor among us have lived for ages.. and it wasn't very pleasant.  Foreclosure servings, electric trucks in the alley turning off someone's electricity for non-payment, water and gas shutoffs, counting change to buy groceries or gas:  These are not things that any person who has worked his/her whole life should ever have to experience.  Not in the United States.

Let's just all hope that these horrors will never happen again. 

And now?

The jobs numbers for May 2016 were just released and they are a mixed bag:  Only 38,000 new jobs, much lower than expected, but the unemployment rate declined by .3%, which is a big drop.  The big drop mostly occurred because people left the labor force.  The Baby Boomers are retiring, and they are retiring in droves.  Every month for the past two years or so, well over 4 million people who were employed dropped out of the labor force.  We don't know how many of those people are now permanently retired, but we can assume it is a big number, easily dwarfing the number of people who were not in the labor force but are now employed.

That's the bottom line:  Eight years ago things were miserable.  They were still miserable six years ago.  People waited impatiently for those monthly jobs numbers to find out if we really were making any progress.

Now?  People are retiring after 40 years of working.  And many of them STILL have adequate retirement income.  Unfortunately, many don't.

38,000 new jobs; unemployment drops to 4.7%. 

Friday, May 6, 2016

How Many Jobs Has Obama Created or Lost? (April 2016 update)

How many NET jobs created or lost under Obama* as of April 2016? How many private sector jobs have been lost or added during Obama's presidency?


How many new jobs in the last 7 1/2 years since Obama was inaugurated?  How many Americans were working or employed when Obama took office... compared to now?

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April 2016 numbers were released Friday morning, May 6th.  APRIL reports and info HERE.
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Continue below...

April 2016 Unemployment Rate, Jobs

The April 2016 Jobs Reports was released by the government's Bureau of Labor Statistics this morning, Friday, May 6.  It was a mediocre report.

There were not as many new jobs as predicted, nor as many new jobs as there have been over the past few months.

The unemployment rate was unchanged at
5.0% mostly due to people leaving employment and leaving the labor force, though the number of people unemployed continued to decrease.  In other words, it appears that people were leaving the labor force and leaving employment BY CHOICE.
April Highlights:
  • 160,000 total new payroll jobs; 171,000 new private sector jobs; a decrease of 11,000  in the number of government jobs.)  These numbers are lower than the 202,000 jobs that the pundits and prognosticators predicted.  Full-time/part-time breakdown will be available HERE later today.
  • The BLS lowered their February and March estimates slightly.  February numbers were decreased slightly by 12,000 to +233,000.  March numbers were decreased slightly by 7,000 to +208,000.  "With these revisions, employment gains in February and March combined were 19,000 less than previously reported. Over the past 3 months, job gains have averaged 200,000 per month."  
  • The unemployment rate stayed the same at 5.0% as the number of unemployed decreased slightly by 46,000 and as the number of people employed decreased by 316,000.  We now have 7,920,000 officially unemployed.  This is a slight increase from the previous 3-month average of 7,857,000 unemployed.  As the result of people leaving employment and the labor force BY CHOICE, the labor force participation rate decreased from 63.0% to 62.8%.

Highlights and reports will be posted here starting this morning and throughout the weekend.  Please check back!

Friday, April 1, 2016

March 2016 Unemployment Rate, Jobs

The March 2016 Jobs numbers and unemployment reports were released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on April 1st, 2016.  The April numbers will be released Friday morning, May 6th.    

 

March highlights:
  • Payroll jobs increased by +215,000 and the unemployment rate ticked up slightly to 5.0% as about 400,000 people entered the job market (meaning that they started working or started looking for work).  That is a NET number. 
  • +195,000 new private sector jobs; +20,000 government jobs, almost all in local government but not education. 
  • Over the past 3 months, job gains have averaged 209,000 per month.  
  • Also, there are about 1.9 million more people who have entered the job market over the past 4 months, with about 1.9 million more people employed over the past 4 months.  This means that people are looking for jobs and finding them.
  • The BLS changed their January and February estimates slightly.  January numbers were decreased slightly from 172,000 to 168,000 and February numbers were increased slightly from 242,000 to 245,000.
  • As a result of more people in the labor force, the labor force participation rate increased very slightly from 62.9% to 63.0%.
  • The number of people not in the labor force (people in school, people retired, people home with children, etc.) decreased for the fourth month in a row as people returned to work.  It is now 93,482,000. 
  • The alternate unemployment rate increased very slightly to 9.8% from 9.7%, reflecting the slight increase in the regular (U-3) unemployment rate.  
  • As mentioned above, the labor force participation rate has been increasing as more people go back to work, and it is now at 63.0%, the highest it has been in about 3 years.  Year over year, we have about 2.4 million MORE people in the labor force.  Remember that there is NO ideal labor force size, and most of the overall decrease in the labor force participation RATE over the last few years has been due to Baby Boomers retiring in great numbers.
  • The overall number of people employed increased by  246,000.
  • The number of people working full-time increased by 241,000 last month; the number of people working part-time decreased by about 35,000 last month. There are 2.5 million MORE people working full-time than there were a year ago, and 525,000 MORE people working part-time than a year ago.


The pundits were expecting continued good job growth, in the vicinity of 200,000 new jobs.  The ADP report, which was released Wednesday, March 30th, showed an increase of 200,000 private sector jobs.  In the ADP report, Mark Zandi made the following comments:  

Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics, said, “The job market continues on its amazing streak. The March job gain of 200,000 is consistent with average monthly job growth of the past more than four years. The only industry reducing payrolls is energy as has been the case for over a year. All indications are that the job machine will remain in high gear.

March 2016 reports: (As usual, notation on the links will be changed to "UPDATED for March" when the updated reports become available later today or over the weekend.  Not all reports are updated every month.) 

More highlights and reports will continue to be posted here throughout the day and over the weekend.  Please check back!

Friday, March 4, 2016

How Many Jobs Has Obama Created or Lost? (February 2016 update)

How many NET jobs created or lost under Obama* as of February 2016? How many private sector jobs have been lost or added during Obama's presidency?


How many new jobs in the last 7 years since Obama was inaugurated?  How many Americans were working or employed when Obama took office... compared to now?

*******************************************************************

March 2016 numbers will be released Friday morning, April 1st.  MARCH reports will be listed HERE.
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Continue below...

February 2016 Unemployment Rate, Jobs

The February Jobs Reports were released this morning, Friday, March 4. The economy added 242,000 new jobs, a larger number than expected, while the unemployment rate stayed the same at 4.9%.

March 2016 reports will be released Friday morning, April 1st.  Check HERE after 9 a.m. EDT.


The number of jobs added was about 
50,000 MORE than the expected by the various pundits.  We have continued to break records in the streak of months of consecutive job growth, both in the total number of jobs and in the number of private jobs.  We now have 72 months of consecutive PRIVATE sector job growth (since Feburary 2010) and 65 months of consecutive TOTAL jobs growth (since September 2010).

Remember that jobs numbers are seasonally adjusted.


From the BLS Employment Situation report:
 

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for December was revised from +262,000 to +271,000, and the change for January was revised from +151,000 to +172,000. With these revisions, employment gains in December and January combined were 30,000 more than previously reported. Over the past 3 months, job gains have averaged 228,000 per month. 


February Highlights:
  • 242,000 total new payroll jobs.
  • 230,000 new private sector jobs.
  • 12,000 increase in the number of government jobs.
  • These numbers are higher than the 190,000 new jobs estimated by the various "pundits". 
  • The unemployment rate stayed the same at 4.9% as the number of unemployed increased slightly by 24,000 and as the number of people employed increased significantly by 530,000.  The number of people in the labor force (people working PLUS people actively looking for work) increased by 555,000. 
  • The number of people NOT in the labor force (This includes people 16 years of age and older who are in school, retired, home with children, etc.) decreased by 374,000 to 93,688,000 due to the large number of people entering the labor force.   
  • The labor force participation rate increased by .2% to 62.9% due to the large number of people entering or re-entering the labor force.  (This is the highest the labor force participation rate has been for over a year.)
  • Year over year, we have about 2,000,000 MORE people in the labor force DESPITE large numbers of Baby Boomers retiring.  Remember that there is NO ideal labor force participation rate.  Also remember that most of the overall decrease in the labor force participation rate is due to these large numbers of retiring Baby Boomers.
  • Alternate unemployment rate declined .2% to 9.7% after staying the same for three months.  (This is due mostly to a decrease in the number of "marginally attached" workers, those who say they want a job and have looked in the past year, but did not look for work in the past month.  It also includes discouraged workers, a number which has declined by 133,000 or 18% over the past year.) 
  • The number of people working full-time increased by 65,000 last month.
  • The number of people working part-time increased by about 489,000 last month, but most of those people (about 304,000) were working part-time by choice. 
  • The number of people working part-time INVOLUNTARILY stayed exactly the same and the number of people working part-time VOLUNTARILY INCREASED by 304,000.  
  • There are 2.4 million MORE people working full-time than there were a year ago, and 440,000 MORE people working part-time than a year ago.
  • As mentioned above, the BLS increased the December jobs numbers from +262,000 to +271,000 and increased the January jobs numbers from +151,000 to +172,000.  Over the past 3 months, job gains have averaged a very healthy 228,000 per month.
Since Obama took office (January 2009):
  • 9.5 million MORE jobs in total
  • 10.0 million MORE private sector jobs
  • 8.9 million MORE people working
  • 7.4 million MORE people working full-time
  • 1.5 million MORE people working part-time
  • 1.9 million FEWER people working part-time INVOLUNTARILY  


Since the "trough" of the recession in late 2009/early 2010:
  • 13.8 million MORE jobs in total
  • 14.3 million MORE private sector jobs
  • 13    million MORE people working
  • 12.7 million MORE people working full-time.
  • 1.2   million MORE people working part-time.
  • 3.3 million FEWER people working part-time INVOLUNTARILY.   

February 2016 reports: (As usual, notation on the links will be changed to "UPDATED for February" when the updated reports become available later today or over the weekend.  Not all reports are updated every month.) 


More highlights and reports will continue to be posted here throughout the day and over the weekend.  Please check back!

Friday, February 5, 2016

January 2016 Unemployment Rate, Jobs

The January Jobs Reports were released this morning, Friday, February 5. The economy added 151,000 new jobs, a smaller number than expected,  while the unemployment rate declined slightly to 4.9%.  

Though the number of jobs added was smaller than expected and not as large as prior months, we have continued the streak of months of consecutive growth in the number of jobs, both in the total number of jobs and in the number of private jobs.  We now have
71 months of consecutive private sector job growth and 64 months of consecutive total jobs growth.  


Remember that jobs numbers are seasonally adjusted, so the smaller number of jobs in January is
NOT due to the release of temporary part-time Christmas workers.


From the BLS Employment Situation report: 

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for November was revised from +252,000 to +280,000, and the change for December was revised from +292,000 to +262,000. With these revisions, employment gains in November and December combined were 2,000 lower than previously reported. Over the past 3 months, job gains have averaged 231,000 per month. Monthly revisions result from additional reports received from businesses since the last published estimates and the recalculation of seasonal factors. The annual benchmark process also contributed to these revisions. 


January Highlights:
  • 151,000 total new payroll jobs.
  • 158,000 new private sector jobs.
  • 7,000 decrease in the number of government jobs.
  • These numbers are lower than the 195,000 to 200,000 new jobs estimated by the various "pundits". 
  • The unemployment rate declined slightly to 4.9% as the number of unemployed decreased slightly by 113,000 and as the number of people employed increased by 615,000.  The number of people in the labor force (people working and people looking for work) increased by 502,000. 
  • The number of people not in the labor force (people 16 years of age and older who are in school, retired, e home with children, etc.) decreased slightly by 41,000 to 94,062,000 due to the large number of people entering the labor force.   
  • The labor force participation rate increased slightly to 62.7% due to the large number of people entering or re-entering the labor force.  (The labor force participation rate has been between  62.4%  and 62.7% for the past seven months.)  
  • Year over year, we have about 1,310,000 MORE people in the labor force DESPITE large numbers of Baby Boomers retiring.  Remember that there is NO ideal labor force participation rate and most of the overall decrease in the labor force participation rate is due to these large numbers of retiring Baby Boomers.
  • Alternate unemployment rate stayed the same at 9.9%
  • The number of people working full-time increased by a large 538,000 last month.
  • The number of people working part-time increased by about 5,000 last month. 
  • The number of people working part-time INVOLUNTARILY DECREASED by 34,000 and the number of people working part-time VOLUNTARILY INCREASED by 68,000.  
  • There are 2.5 million MORE people working full-time than there were a year ago, and 120,000 FEWER people working part-time than a year ago.
  • As mentioned above, the BLS increased the November jobs numbers from +252,000 to +280,000 but decreased the October numbers from +292,000 to +262,000.  Over the past 3 months, job gains have averaged a very healthy 231,000 per month.
Since Obama took office (January 2009):
  • 9.2 million MORE jobs in total
  • 9.8 million MORE private sector jobs
  • 8.4 million MORE people working
  • 7.3 million MORE people working full-time
  • 987,000 MORE people working part-time
  • 2.1 million FEWER people working part-time INVOLUNTARILY  


Since the "trough" of the recession in late 2009/early 2010:
  • 13.6 million MORE jobs in total
  • 14   million MORE private sector jobs
  • 12.5 million MORE people working
  • 12.6 million MORE people working full-time.
  • 37,000 MORE people working part-time.
  • 3.4 million FEWER people working part-time INVOLUNTARILY.   



January 2016 reports: (As usual, notation on the links will be changed to "UPDATED for January" when the updated reports become available later today or over the weekend.  Not all reports are updated every month.) 

More highlights and reports will continue to be posted here throughout the day and over the weekend.  Please check back!