JUNE BLS: +288,000 jobs, Unemployment rate declines to 6.1%. Details HERE Jobs since Obama took office? HERE Unemp. rate under Obama? HERE

Sunday, June 19, 2011

How Many New Jobs Has Obama Lost or Created? (May 2011)

 

How has Obama done on jobs?  How many jobs have been lost or gained during the Obama administration?


Have 2.1 million private sector jobs have been created during the Obama administration?

Yes. In seasonally adjusted numbers, as of May 2011, 2,123,000 private-sector jobs have been created since the bottom of the recession.  In seasonally adjusted numbers, as of May 2011, 1,797,000 total jobs have been created since the bottom of the recession.   

Here's a summary of data from the BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics).  All numbers lost to the "trough" of the recession reflect jobs lost between the time Obama took office and the lowest point of the recession:

Seasonally adjusted:
  • All jobs lost from the time Obama took office to "trough" (bottom of recession):                                                          4,309,000
  • All jobs gained since "trough":                               1,797,000
Net loss in seasonally-adjusted jobs:                      2,512,000                        

"Raw:" numbers not seasonally adjusted:
  • Jobs lost from the time Obama took office to "trough": 4,246,000      
  • Jobs gained since "trough":                                      4,444,000
Net gain in "raw" unadjusted job numbers:                          198,000

How many private sector jobs have been gained or lost since Obama took office?

Seasonally adjusted:
  • Private-sector jobs lost to "trough" (bottom of recession):      4,168,000
  • Private-sector jobs gained since "trough":                            2,123,000* 
         
*(This is the number often used by Obama and the Democrats as the number of private jobs created.  It is a correct number, but it is a seasonally-adjusted number.  In "real" unadjusted numbers, 4,270,000 private sector jobs have been created.) 

Net loss in seasonally-adjusted private-sector jobs :           2,045,000                          

"Raw:" numbers not seasonally adjusted: 
  • Private-sector jobs lost to "trough":                      4,131,000 
  • Private-sector jobs gained since "trough":             4,270,000                                    
Net gain in "raw" unadjusted private-sector jobs:                141,000

How many workers have been laid off or hired during the Obama administration?

Seasonally adjusted:  
  • Fewer people working to "trough" :                        4,261,000 
  • More people working since "trough":                       1,819,000         
Net loss in seasonally-adjusted number of people working:   2,442,000                          

"Raw:" numbers not seasonally adjusted:
  • Fewer workers to "trough":                        3,627,000
  • More workers since "trough":                      3,219,000
Net loss in "raw" unadjusted number of people working:         408,000     
   
Can you summarize this?
  • Obama was inaugurated in January 2009 when the economy was in free fall and we were losing about 700,000 jobs a month.  A total of 4,400,000 jobs were lost before Obama took office.  
  • The employment situation did not bottom out until late 2009 or early 2010.  An additional 4,300,000 jobs were lost between the time that Obama took office and the bottom ("trough") of the recession.  
  • That's a total job loss of 8,700,000 jobs over approximately 2 years.
  • Since the economy started to add jobs under Obama, 1,800,000 jobs have been added using seasonally-adjusted numbers (See below). 
  • Since the economy started to add jobs under Obama, 4,444,000 jobs have been added using "real" unadjusted numbers.  We have now added more jobs in "real" numbers than were lost during the first year of Obama's term.       
  • We still need many, many more jobs to overcome the loss of jobs that started in 2008 and to make up for the increase in population since 2008. 
  • We're doing better in terms of making up for lost jobs than Reagan did at this point in his presidency and than FDR did at this time during his presidency. 

How did you come up with these numbers?  Why isn't there one number instead of all of these?     

Counting jobs or workers is very tricky. Continue reading for more detailed explanations of all of this.

According to three of the counts used, we have still lost more jobs and workers in the first year of Obama's administration, when the economy was struggling to pull out of recession, than we have gained during the last year of Obama's administration when we have experienced job growth.  We are still running a jobs/workers deficit of 408,000 to 2,471,000 since Obama took office. 

But according to one count used, the unadjusted, actual "raw" count of jobs created when not adjusted for seasonal variance, we have pulled into positive territory and there are 198,000 more jobs now than there were when Obama was inaugurated and the economy was in free fall.

To repeat, counting or comparing jobs or workers is tricky.

There's usually no one number that explains anything, and most monthly numbers need to be seen as "trends", not absolutes.  People use the unemployment rate, but even that can vary for so many reasons that don't really reflect the true state of the labor market.

So.. a few explanations and more detail:

What is a "trough"?  When did we hit the low point of jobs and workers?  When did we hit the high point of unemployment?  

I use the term "trough" to designate the lowest point of jobs or workers in this recession.  The various counts reach their "troughs" in various months, so it may be a bit confusing.  The unemployment rate reached its high point in October 2009.  The seasonally adjusted number of workers reached its low point in December 2009, but so many workers had dropped out of the work force that the unemployment rate had actually come down.  In raw, unadjusted numbers of workers and jobs, we reached our nadir in January 2010.  The seasonally-adjusted number of jobs also reached its low point in January 2010.

How Many Jobs were Lost from the time Obama took office until the "trough" of jobs lost?
  • In seasonally adjusted numbers, employers reported 133,549,000 jobs in January 2009.  At the trough of the recession in February 2010, there were 129,246,000 jobs.  That's a loss of 4,303,000 jobs from the time Obama took office until the "trough" of the recession. 
  • In "raw" numbers (not adjusted for seasonal variances), employers reported 131,555,000 jobs in January 2009.  At the trough of the recession in January 2010, there were 127,309,000 jobs.  That's a loss of  4,246,000 jobs from the time Obama took office until the "trough" of the recession. 
How Many Fewer or More Were Employed from the time Obama took office in January 2009 until the "trough" of employment?
  • In seasonally adjusted numbers, 142,221,000 people reported themselves as employed in January 2009.  At the trough of the recession in December 2009, 137,960,000 people reported themselves as employed.  That's a loss of 4,261,000 employed people from the time Obama took office until the "trough" of the recession.
  • In "raw" numbers (not adjusted for seasonal variances), 140,436,000 people reported themselves as employed in January 2009.  At the trough of the recession in January 2010, 136,809,000 people reported themselves as employed.  That's a loss of 3,627,000 employed people from the time Obama took office until the "trough" of the recession. . 
What was the unemployment rate when Obama took office?  How high did it go? 
  • For the record, when Obama took office in January 2009, the "official" unemployment rate in seasonally adjusted numbers was 7.7%, with 11,919,000 people reported themselves as unemployed and actively looking.  In "raw" numbers not adjusted for seasonal variance, the unemployment rate was 8.5% with 13,009,000 people reporting themselves as unemployed and actively looking for work.
  • At the trough of the recession in late 2009/early 2010, the "official" unemployment rate in seasonally adjusted numbers was 10.1% in October 2009 with 15,612,000 people (out of a labor force of about 154,000,000) reporting themselves as unemployed.  In "raw" numbers not adjusted for seasonal variance, the unemployment rate reached a peak of 10.6% in January 2010 with 16,147,000 (out of a labor force of about 153,000,000) reporting themselves as unemployed and actively looking for work.
  • Now, in May 2011, the "official" unemployment rate in seasonally adjusted numbers is 9.1% with 13,914,000 (out of a labor force of 153,693,000).  In unadjusted "raw" numbers, however, the unemployment rate is 8.7%.
How many jobs have been created since the "trough" of the recession in late 2009/early 2010 to now, May 2011?
  • In seasonally adjusted numbers, 1,797,000 jobs have been created since the "trough" of the recession in January 2010.
  • In raw unadjusted numbers, 4,444,000 jobs have been created since the "trough" of the recession in January 2010.

How many more people reported they were working since the "trough" of the recession in late 2009/early 2010 to now, May 2011?
  • In seasonally adjusted numbers, 1,819,000 more people are working since the trough of the recession in December 2009.
  • In "raw" unadjusted numbers, 3,219,000 more people are working since the trough of the recession in January 2010.

6 comments:

  1. I meet unemployed Americans all the time that tell me an insourced foreigner is now working there old job (which Obama is claiming as a job created in the above statistics) and of those AMERICANS working (not to be confused with an insourced foreigner working), most are making a pittance of what they once were. If we want to be a nation of minimum wage workers who insources foreigners to create jobs, we are right on track for that. Show me a jobful prosperous recovery for AMERICANS and stop pretending like giving a foreigner a good job or an American a minimum wage or part-time job to replace the great job they had before somehow equates to a recovery.

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  2. Unfortunately, many unemployed people have been forced into lower-paying jobs, and many have been replaced by foreign workers working for less. I agree with you that this is very disturbing. But the reality is that, for the first time in four years, I knew more people in 2011 who got jobs, and decent jobs, vs. people who were laid off. Most of these people are younger, however, and older people (over 45 or 50) still seem to be struggling. We still have a long, long way to go, of course.

    However, we had fewer foreign workers in 2010 than we had in the mid 2000's. We added 1,900,000 private sector jobs in the United States in 2011. I cannot find a count of the increase in H1B workers for 2011, but the increase for 2010 was only 11,000 over the number of H1Bs for 2009. There is an increase of 20,000 L visas (inter-company transfers) in 2010 over 2009. Despite the increase of 30,000 in these two programs, it appears that most of the additional jobs are going to American citizens and residents. But it is also unclear why we haven't seriously restricted the number of these people when we have so many Americans, many with solid high-skill backgrounds, out of work.

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  3. It is not automatically true that all new jobs being created are lower paying. That's just pessimistic. I am sure there are better paying jobs sprinkled in there somewhere. 240,000 new jobs is good news any way you slice it. So lets revel in the best jobs news we've had in a long time, instead of always searching for the dark lining. www.wakeupamericawithbrucepeeples@blogspot.com

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  4. Mr. Coolblogs, I basically agree with you. Yes, the unemployment numbers do not express the full struggling of the American people, as many people are working temp jobs and want permanent work, and many others are working for much less than they worked for a few years ago, but we do have more jobs and, for the most part, things are improving. Though we do have a ways to do.

    Thanks for stopping by!

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  5. Each month they report initial (new) unemployment claims. That number is 2 to 4 times the number of new jobs reported. This happens every month, including the last 23. Wouldn't this mean that there is a "NET" job loss?

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    Replies
    1. No, old screen, because of the difference between "net" and "gross" job loss. Weekly unemployment claims are "gross" claims, and the monthly jobs numbers are "net" numbers. Let me explain:

      People quit, people are laid off, people are hired every month in good times and bad. When more people are laid off or quit than are hired, we have net job loss. When more people are hired than quit or are laid off, we have net job growth.

      For 23 months now, we have had NET JOB GROWTH. More people have been hired than have been laid off or who have quit.

      We don't have the number of hires for August yet, but the number of hires for July just came out this morning. 4,229,000 people were hired in the month of July. (Over 4 million people have been hired every month for the past 18 months.)

      4,058,000 people were "separated" (laid off, quit, retired, or "other") in the month of July. About 1,500,000 of those separations were layoffs or discharges, and that squares reasonably well with the number of people who filed for unemployment claims in July, which was about 370,000 a week.

      But we had 171,000 more hires than separations in July, and that is pretty close to the 141,000 new jobs that are being reported for July.

      I hope that clarifies things.

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete

I appreciate intelligent comments and questions, including those that are at odds with anything posted here. I have elected not to screen comments before they are published; however, any comments that are in any way insulting, caustic, or intentionally inflammatory will be deleted without notice. Spam will also be immediately deleted.