Update: How Many Got Jobs in May? Preliminary analysis
699,000 according to the Current Population survey of the BLS..
That sounds like a lot, but let's look a little closer..
First of all, check out my article from earlier this month:
How Many Jobs Were Created in April 2011?
That article explains some of the basics in employment and unemployment statistics. Pay particular attention to the discussion of unadjusted vs. seasonally adjusted numbers. And pay attention to the discussion of the difference between the Population Survey (in which people report their employment status) and the Establishment Report (in which corporations and hiring entities report the number of people on their payrolls).
Now, with that background, let's begin:
Part 1: Unadjusted employment numbers as reported in the Population Survey.
699,000 more people reported that they were working in April 2011 than in March 2011. This is an unadjusted number, which means that the data has not been modified to account for usual seasonal fluctuations. In April, one would expect that warm weather workers would report back to work, perhaps construction people. One would also expect that employers would start to staff for seasonal jobs such as landscaping, garden stores, beach stands, and tourist attractions. And in fact, raw unadjusted numbers of people employed always go up in April.
But the Population Survey doesn't provide seasonal adjustments to all of its sub groups. And we are talking about real people, so Part 1 of this analysis will be based on unadjusted numbers. In particular, we want to see who won Employment Roulette in April 2011.
Just who are these 699,000 people? Are they old, young, black, white, Hispanic? What occupations and industries grew? In a few days, we should also be able to discern whether more jobs went North, South, West, or Midwest, so continue to follow this blog. Here is what we know so far:
1. More Men than Women.
574,000 more men of all ages and races are working in April 2011 vs. March. Only 125,000 more women of all ages and races are working in April 2011 vs. March. Despite the great influx of men into the employment pool, women, however, still have a lower unemployment overall than men. This recession has tended to hit men harder than women, so it is not a particularly bad thing that men returned to the work force in April in greater numbers than women.
In unadjusted numbers, the unemployment rate for women fell by 0.1% this month, but it fell 0.9% for men.
2. More Jobs for Whites. No more jobs for Blacks or Asians.
Yep. Unfortunately, there was a net increase of only 1,000 black people who are employed in April 2011. 14,965,000 black people reported themselves as employed in March 2011, and 14,966,000 black people reported themselves as employed in April 2011. Of the 699,000 people who went back to work in April, only 1,000 of those people were black. One thousand.
3. Black Men Get More Jobs; Black Women Get Fewer.
Now employment did increase for black men, but at the expense of black women. Black women over the age of 20 lost 76,000 jobs in April; black men over the age of 20 gained 53,000 jobs. And black kids 16-19 years of age gained 24,000 jobs last month.
In unadjusted numbers, the unemployment rate for whites went down, but the unemployment rate for blacks went up, though it went down for black men. Again, unadjusted numbers look different than adjusted numbers. The adjusted rate for white people edged up just a little bit, .1%, but the adjusted rate for black people jumped up six-tenths or a percent (.6%).
4. Unemployment rate drops for Asians.. but employment drops as well.
Asians have generally had unemployment rates as low or lower than whites. While the unadjusted unemployment rate for Asians did drop from March to April 2011, the total number of Asians employed also dropped by 49,000, from 6,881,000 to 6,832,000. The reason that the unemployment rate for Asians also went down, despite the drop in employment, is that 115,000 Asians left the work force.
There are no seasonally adjusted numbers for Asians available monthly, nor are there monthly breakdowns for Asians by sex or age.
5. Hispanics Got More New Jobs than Whites as a percentage of the employed population.
Hispanics did well in Employment Roulette April 2011. The number of employed Hispanics increased over a percent (vs. a half of a percent for the population as a whole), with an additional 228,000 Hispanics reporting themselves as working. Hispanic men over 20 represented 114,000 of the newly employed; Hispanic women represented 59,000 of the newly employed. Additionally, Hispanic kids 16 through 19 went up But Hispanic kids really went back to work! Continue...
6. Black and Hispanic Kids (16-19) Get More Jobs than White Kids. White Kids Lose Jobs.
The largest increase in employment in any of the sub-demographic grouping went to Hispanic young people between the ages of 16 and 19. There was an 8.56% increase in employment in this subgroup.
31,000 more kids (16-19) had jobs in April vs. March. 53,000 more Hispanic kids got jobs in April, reducing the unemployment rate for this group from 31% to 23%. 24,000 black kids in this age group were added to the employment rolls. The employment count for white kids went down by a thousand. As people in the ethnic group Hispanic can be of any race, it's safe to assume that the count of young non-Hispanic white kids went down, perhaps by as much as 45,000.
Why did Hispanic and black teen-agers get so many more jobs while white non-Hispanic kids lost so many? Without more information, it's hard to know what to make of these kinds of numbers. A year ago, in April 2010, the bulk of teen-aged hiring went to white kids.
7. The Native Born Got Jobs, not the Foreign Born
Of the 699,000 who reported returning to work in April 2011, 686,000 of them were native born, not foreign born. Only 13,000 more foreign born reported that they now have jobs. So much for those who believe that immigrants, legal and illegal, are "taking our jobs". No support for that in the BLS statistics for April 2011.
8. More Jobs for those without High School Degrees... And For those with only High School Degrees.
There were few new jobs for those with college degrees in April 2011. (There are no monthly numbers available for educational attainment broken down by race or ethnic background.)
That's surprising, isn't it? Everything we read and hear tells us that, the more education you have, the more likely you will be to be employed. And, generally, that is true. In both adjusted and unadjusted rates, people with college degrees have much lower rates of unemployment than people without college degrees, and those without high school degrees fare worst of all.
But we are talking about actual people (unadjusted numbers) who got jobs in April 2011. And, in April, 2011, people with less (yes, less) education were more likely to be among the 699,000 people who reported that they now have jobs. For, of the 627,000 increase in the number of people over the age of 25 with jobs in April 2011, 473,000 reported that they had only a high school education or less! And, of that 627,000 people who now have jobs, only 33,000 of them had a Bachelor's Degree or more. (Remember, these are unadjusted numbers-- This reflects what happened to real people in the month of April 2011 without regard for usual seasonal fluctuations. In adjusted numbers, which we will look at later, things look different.)
It's unusual, and it may have something to do with the kinds of jobs that were increasing in number during April. As we said in the introductory paragraphs, companies are staffing up for summer, seasonal work, perhaps landscape work, etc.