AUG: +151,000 jobs. Unemployment rate steady at 4.9%. AUG details here!.. Jobs since Obama took office?... Unemp. rate under Obama?

Friday, September 2, 2011

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


This report has been updated:
How Many Jobs Added or Lost under Obama? (June 2013 update)

Other Jobs Reports Here:





This report dates to August 2011, over a year ago.  For current numbers please click one of the links above. 


How has Obama done on jobs?  How many jobs have been lost or gained during the Obama administration?  Have more new jobs been created or have more jobs been lost under Obama to date?


All of these questions will be answered below the fold:  Keep reading!  

Summary of August jobs activity: 

Private sector jobs increased a barely perceptible 17,000 in August 2011.  It's clear the debt standoff, problems in the stock market and general unrest took its toll on hiring and overall confidence.  Government hiring decreased another 17,000 resulting in an August job gain over July of exactly zero (ZERO) jobs.  

The Democrats claim that 2.1 million private sector jobs have been created in the Obama administration.  Is this true?

(Summary of gross and net jobs activity since Obama was inaugurated is below the jump---  Keep reading!)


Yes, if one is looking at numbers created from the bottom ("trough") of the recession.  In fact, that number is now a bit low.  In seasonally adjusted numbers as of August 20112,398,000 private-sector jobs have been created since the bottom of the recession.   (Remember that job loss continued for about a year after Obama was inaugurated.)



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 in late 2009/early 2010 :

Seasonally adjusted:
  • All jobs lost from the time Obama took office to "trough" (bottom of recession): .....4,303,000
  • All jobs gained since "trough": ....1,886,000
Net LOSS in seasonally-adjusted jobs since Obama took office: ....2,417,000                      


"Raw:" numbers not seasonally adjusted:
  • Jobs lost from the time Obama took office to trough: .....4,226,000                                                    
  • Jobs gained since "trough": .....3,587,000
Net LOSS in raw unadjusted job numbers since Obama took office: .....649,000 



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): .....4,189,000
  • Private-sector jobs gained since "trough": .....2,398,000
         
*(This is the number often used by Obama and the Democrats as the number of private jobs created since the "trough" of the recession .  It is a correct number, but it is a seasonally-adjusted number.  In "real" unadjusted numbers, 5,207,000 private sector jobs have been created since the "trough" of the recession.)
  
Net LOSS in seasonally-adjusted private-sector jobs since Obama took office: ....1,791,000                      



"Raw:" numbers not seasonally adjusted: 
  • Private-sector jobs lost to "trough": .....4,151,000 
  • Private-sector jobs gained since "trough": .....5,207,000                                   
Net GAIN in "raw" unadjusted private-sector jobs since Obama took office: .....1,056,000  




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

Seasonally adjusted:  
  • Fewer people working to "trough" : .....4,260,000 
  • More people working since "trough": .....1,667,000      
Net LOSS in seasonally-adjusted number of people working since Obama took office: .....2,594,000                          



"Raw:" numbers not seasonally adjusted:
  • Fewer workers to "trough": .....3,627,000
  • More workers since "trough": .....3,526,000
Net LOSS in "raw" unadjusted number of people working since Obama took office:    .....101,000        

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 at least 8,700,000 jobs over approximately 2 years.
  • Since the economy started to add jobs under Obama, 1,886,000+ jobs have been added using seasonally-adjusted numbers (See below). 
  • Since the economy started to add jobs under Obama, 3,597,000 jobs have been added using "real" unadjusted numbers.  
  • 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.

 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. 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 second year and this year of Obama's administration when we have experienced job growth.  We are still running a jobs/workers deficit of anywhere from 100,000 to 2,400,000 since Obama took office.  The job growth experienced in the first few months of 2011 has slowed, but job growth, particularly private sector job growth, has continued throughout 2011.  

However, according to the count of unadjusted, actual "raw" numbers of private jobs created (when not adjusted for seasonal variance), we have pulled into positive territory and there are 1,056,000 more "real" jobs in the private sector now than there were when Obama was inaugurated and the economy was in free fall.


There's usually no one number that explains everything, 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 reached its low point a month later, in February 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 loss of  4,246,000 jobs from the time Obama took office until the "trough" of the recession. 

How Many Fewer Were Employed from the time Obama took office 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 August 2011, the "official" unemployment rate in seasonally adjusted numbers is 9.1% with 13,967,000 (out of a labor force of 153,594,000).  In unadjusted "raw" numbers the unemployment rate is 9.1%, a decline of .2% (two-tenths of a percent) compared to the unadjusted unemployment rate in July 2011.



How many jobs have been created since the "trough" of the recession in late 2009/early 2010 to now, August 2011?
  • In seasonally adjusted numbers, 1,886,000 jobs have been created since the "trough" of the recession in February 2010.
  • In raw unadjusted numbers, 3,597,000 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, August 2011?  
  • In seasonally adjusted numbers, 1,667,000 more people are working since the trough of the recession in December 2009.
  • In "raw" unadjusted numbers, 3,526,000 more people are working since the trough of the recession in January 2010.

5 comments:

  1. Molly,
    Your analysis is commendable but is based upon the Bureau of Labor Statistics data which ignores the real world and puts out the numbers it wants you to believe.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I agree and disagree with you, anonymous. I also post Molly's alternative unemployment rate which takes into consideration all of the underemployed and those who "want a job" but are no longer looking. The BLS numbers are good for comparing one month to the next or one year back to now. I discuss the problems with BLS data in many places in my blog. Also try "Molly's articles about Unemployment", a tab at the top of my page. Thanks for stopping by!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Ok, If this info is wrong or incorrect where do we find real numbers if not BLS?

    ReplyDelete
  4. Anonymous, all of my numbers come from the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports. What specifically are you questioning?

    ReplyDelete

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.