MAR Fri, Apr 7:+98,000 jobs. Unemployment down to 4.5%...MAR details coming.. Jobs since Trump took office?... Unemp. rate under Trump? (not yet updated)

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Weekly Unemployment Claims Decrease


First time unemployment jobless claims decreased by 12,000 for the week ending December 22nd.  The four-week moving average # of claims decreased by a significant 11,250 as the claims increase from Hurricane Sandy receded.  We have now returned to first time claims numbers as low as those in late 2007 or early 2008.


For the week ending December 8th, 5,475,708 people were receiving unemployment benefits under one of the programs that are available (regular state, extended benefits, federal extended unemployment compensation, or a few other smaller programs).  This is an increase of about  73,000 continuing claims since the previous week. 

Percent of Unemployed People Receiving Benefits has increased to about
48%.



The chart above is one of the BEST charts for understanding and observing changes in the weekly initial claims numbers over time.  This year (red-2012) and the past three years (blue- 2009green- 2010 and black- 2011) are marked in different colors.  You can see that, as a trend, first time claims for unemployment have gone down SIGNIFICANTLY from one year to the next, even though there are variations within the year.  You can also see the impact of Hurricane Sandy on claims in the last few weeks. 

Be aware that:
  1. These are first time claims, so people who have continued to receive benefits or who have lost unemployment benefits are not counted in these numbers.  
  2. They are seasonally adjusted, so most variations caused by weather or holidays are already included in these numbers.  
  3. As these are weekly numbers, they are more volatile than the monthly numbers.


First time unemployment claims decreased by 12,000 over those reported last week.  Last week's initial claims numbers were revised upwards by 1,000.  The four-week moving average decreased by 11,250.    There have been slight upwards revisions  (1,000 to 3,000) in the numbers of initial claims in most of the weeks of the past four months.  (The chart above shows REVISED claims numbers.)

As usual, to put this into perspective, check out the red line on the chart above to see where jobless claims are now, in late 2012, compared to the last months of the past three years.

From the current report:
In the week ending December 22, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 350,000, a decrease of 12,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 362,000. The 4-week moving average was 356,750, a decrease of 11,250 from the previous week's revised average of 368,000.
The initial claims as announced last week were 361,000, so the claims from that week were revised upwards by 1,000. 

Current December Initial Claims Continue to be the Lowest Since Late 2007.

As a whole, the current numbers of initial claims continue to be the lowest December initial claims numbers since 2007.  
Continuing regular state claims, from people who are continuing to claim unemployment through the initial 20 to 26 week regular unemployment program, decreased 32,000 for the week ending December 15th after increasing by 25,000 the week before.  3,206,000 people filed continuing regular state claims in the week ending December 15th.  As a whole, continuing regular claims continue to decline despite some individual weekly increases.  (There were 3,595,000 continuing claims a year ago.) 

Total number of people receiving unemployment insurance increased slightly to 48% of the officially unemployed for the week ending December 8th.  

The weekly report also tells us the total number of people who are receiving unemployment benefits.  For the week ending December 8th, 5,475,708 people were receiving unemployment benefits under one of the programs that are available (regular state, extended benefits, federal extended unemployment compensation, or a few other smaller programs).  This compares with 11,404,000 people who are unemployed according to the monthly November unemployment situation report which was released three weeks ago.  Those numbers, showing that only 48% of the officially unemployed are receiving benefits, should make it clear that people do NOT need to be receiving unemployment insurance to be counted among the unemployed.  (This ratio and these two numbers are NOT seasonally adjusted.)

Extended Benefits (EB) Expire


Extended Benefits claims are expiring as only New York was eligible for Extended Benefits in the latest report.  Only 7.8%  of the number of people who were receiving Extended Benefits a year ago were receiving Extended Benefits for the week ending December 8th.  

New York has now triggered off of Extended Benefits, which means that all states have now "triggered" off of Extended Benefits.

As of the week ending December 8th, only 44,610 people were still receiving Extended Benefits.  As recently as late April, 350,579 people were receiving Extended Benefits.  A year ago, 571,848 people were receiving Extended Benefits.

In about seven months, 87% of the people who were receiving Extended Benefits are no longer receiving such benefits.  We do not know how many of these 306,000 people found jobs, how many have another source of income in the family, and how many have nothing. 

To reiterate, while a decrease in the number of people FILING for initial claims is a good thing and indicates that fewer people are being laid off, a decrease in the TOTAL number of people getting unemployment insurance may only show that fewer people are eligible for unemployment insurance benefits.

Any questions or confusion, please leave a comment or email me!


Sunday, December 16, 2012

Gun Control Won't Fix Everything - But It Can't Hurt

Twenty children, little children, first grade children, the same age of the children that I taught many years ago.  Killed.  Gone.  


Six adults whose life work was educating and caring for children, little children; work that I did a decade ago.  Killed.  Gone.



One young man, social problems most of his life, the same age as a young man in our extended family who committed a crime and took his own life several years ago.  Dead through suicide.  Gone.



One mother who undoubtedly loved her son, agonized over his problems, probably tried to figure out how she could help him, the same way that the parents of the young man in my family agonized for years and tried to help.  The mother of the young man in Connecticut was killed and is gone.  The parents of the young man in our family still live, still deal with depression, often anxiety;  even though several years have passed, they are still trying to understand what happened to their beloved son.



Newtown, Connecticut. 

Sandy Hook Elementary School.  Adam Lanza.   Two days ago these names were meaningless.  Now they are not.  We all know where these places are.  We all know who Adam Lanza is.  

We know the names of many of the victims, both the victims who lived and the victims who died.  We know of the first grade teacher, Kaitlin Roig, who herded her children into a bathroom and managed to keep them quiet.   They all lived.  We know of another first grade teacher, Vicki Soto, who herded her children into cupboards and cabinets, somehow keeping them safe but not herself.  We know of the principal, Dawn Hochsprung,  and the school psychologist, Mary Sherlach, who instinctively tried to run to the gunman to physically make him stop.... but he got them first.  We know of the teacher,  Ann Marie Murphy, who threw her body on her little ones.. but her body didn't stop the bullets.  She died as did her young charges.



We saw television news personalities tearing up, some actually cutting their schticks short due to imminent emotional breakdown.  We saw the President of the United States in tears as he talked about these little children, six and seven years old, who died.


The cacophony of minutiae


And now the cacophony of minutiae, opinions, accusations, counter-opinions,  and counter-accusations.  The noise has been too loud for me, and I have barely posted or written in the past 48 hours as I deal with the conflicting feelings and memories; too many of the details are too close to things I have lived through as a teacher and as a human being in my extended family.    



  • Lack of gun control is the problem, many cry out.
  • Carry and conceal in schools is the answer!, others claim.
  • Armed guards in every school!, say some.
  • This is what happens when you take God out of schools, shout a few.
  • The President is weak, say others.. He needs to seek some kind of gun ban!
  • More mental health help!, others yell.
  • What's with that mother?  Why did she have guns around if the kid was mentally ill?
  • The media got everything wrong!  And interviewing kids?  That was horrible!
  • Mental illness, personality disorder, autism spectrum, Aspberger's.  People throw these terms around as if they know what they mean.

Look, people, I know a young man who stole his father's guns and held up a convenience store and then shot himself when he was about to be apprehended.   I know the family;  I knew the young man since he was very tiny.   


Gun control would not have saved him.


More mental health resources would not have saved him.   

We do not have the details of what happened to Adam Lanza.  Was he violent?  Did he threaten his mother.. or anybody, for that matter?  Had he ever so much as hurt a fly before December 14th?  Was he getting mental health help?  Was he diagnosed with anything? 



We don't know the answer to any of these questions... yet.  And even when we do get the answers to these questions, they may not help us to understand what was in Adam Lanza's head Friday morning, and they may not help us to understand how to prevent another Newtown, Connecticut, massacre.        


The Mother's Obsession With Guns

The mother's obsession with guns was profiled here at the New York Times.

Here's a comment:  


I hate guns and I do not understand why people would buy them. 
Until now, I have always blamed the NRA and have been somewhat optimistic that we only need people to get a bit more organized in order to improve legislation. 
Today, the statistic cited in one of the other articles was a real eye opener. Apparently 60% of Americans are happy with the current gun laws and do not want any additional restrictions. 
I do not see how the tragic situation in Newton could have been prevented. Mrs. Lanza bought the guns legally and had even trained on how to use them. 
I haven't read anything about her son having demonstrated any violence earlier, so I have to assume that is the reason she did not take any additional precautions. 
Obviously, in this country we have serious violence issues, which get compounded by loose legislation on guns. We also have serious mental health issues, but apparently the killer's condition had not raised concern. 
Most people in the NYT forums are vociferous about the need for gun control. I am with you, but I am also realistic and very pessimistic about any possible changes.

I do not see any need for those multiple clips that allow people to shoot a hundred rounds in a few seconds or a minute.  I don't know why that kind of firepower should be protected.

As I mentioned above, I knew a young man, close to the age of the Lanza young man, who had a lot of issues but no history of physically aggressive or violent behavior, who broke into his father's locked gun cabinet at the family's vacation home.  He and a friend took those hunting rifles and held up a convenience store.  As the police closed in, he shot himself.  Nobody was hurt except the young man.


I'm sure people would say the same thing about him... Why did his father have hunting rifles?  But there was no reason for the father NOT to have hunting rifles in a locked closet.  The son was not aggressive or violent.  He hadn't threatened anybody; he was just snotty and rebellious.  He'd been in various kinds of therapies, various special schools, various treatments for various addictions for years.  


Would this young man still be alive with stronger gun control laws?  I can't imagine that.  These were registered hunting rifles in a locked closet in a vacation home.  I will say that the family felt a sense of relief that the young man didn't take anyone with him as he checked out, unlike Adam Lanza.


I do think we need stronger gun control laws, and I welcome efforts to introduce legislation to outlaw assault weapons.  And we certainly need to eliminate the gun show loophhole.  But not all of these tragedies are going to be prevented unless all guns are outlawed.. and that will never happen.



Other articles and comments: 



I am Adam Lanza's Mother:  A great article about what it is like to deal with a seriously mentally ill adolescent, but I don't think we can say that the problems of this mother and her son are equivalent to the problems of Adam Lanza.  But a must-read article nonetheless.  My comment:



I completely understand the author's pain and I empathize with her son.. and with her love for her son. 

But we don't really know that Adam Lanza was like her Michael. We haven't heard of any hospitalizations, any other episodes of violence, any diagnoses that might shed some light on his actions. 

Adam was in public or private schools for about 10 years. He was pulled out when he was a sophomore or junior in high school, but, while people who knew him talked about how "strange" he was; nobody has mentioned out of control or aggressive behaviors. 

I don't think we can read this very heartfelt, very moving article and assume that Adam Lanza had the same issues. 

Now.. I do know children who had similar problems to those described by Michael's mother. I agree that mental health understanding and treatment of these children is not very solid. I taught elementary school for many years and I can remember two children who exhibited these kinds of completely out of control behaviors. Both were placed into specialized settings for children with behavioral disorders. Both had siblings who were completely "normal".  

These children are being lost, and that is so, so sad. 

And, no, the solution is NOT a slap or a spank as some (comments) here have suggested.”



Thursday, December 13, 2012

Private & Government Jobs Gained & Lost Under Obama (November Update)








How many jobs (total, private, and government) have been lost or gained since Obama was inaugurated?  
  • 4,317,000 TOTAL jobs (in seasonally adjusted numbers) were LOST in from the time Obama took office until the "trough" of the recession in early 2010.  That's a decrease of 3.2%.    
  • 4,608,000 jobs (in seasonally adjusted numbers) were CREATED from the "trough" of the recession until now, November 2012.  That's an increase of 3.6%.
  • In total, 291,000  jobs (in seasonally adjusted numbers) were ADDED from the time Obama took office until now, November 2012.  That's an increase of 0.2%.
  • We have experienced 26 months WITHOUT job losses since September 2010.  We have ADDED 3,967,000 jobs during those 26 months. 
  • We now have 133,852,000 TOTAL non-farm jobs. 
With Benchmark Revisions:
  • 4,317,000 TOTAL jobs (in seasonally adjusted numbers) were LOST in from the time Obama took office until the "trough" of the recession in early 2010.  That's a decrease of 3.2%.    
  • 4,994,000 jobs (in seasonally adjusted numbers) were CREATED from the "trough" of the recession until now, November 2012. 
  • In total, 677,000  jobs (in seasonally adjusted numbers) were ADDED from the time Obama took office until now, November 2012.   
  • We now have 134,238,000 TOTAL non-farm jobs. 
* Click on the link for information about Benchmark Revisions which were released last week by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  The BLS databases will not be updated with these new numbers until January 2013.
*  These are all net figures, meaning that they represent the total number of jobs at the end of a reporting period.  All losses have been subtracted from all gains and vice verse.
    *  For the purposes of comparison, jobs are being added at a faster clip under Obama than under George Bush at the same time in his presidency.  At this point in Bush's presidency (November 2004), there were still 284,000 FEWER jobs than when he was inaugurated in January 2001 (compared to 291,000 MORE for Obama).  The number of jobs didn't eclipse the number when Bush was first inaugurated until February 2005, in Bush's second term.    


    How many PRIVATE sector jobs have been lost or gained since Obama was inaugurated?
    • 4,213,000 PRIVATE-sector jobs (in seasonally adjusted numbers) were LOST from the time Obama took office until the "trough" of the recession in early 2010.  That's a decrease of 3.8%.
    • 5,117,000 PRIVATE-sector jobs (in seasonally adjusted numbers) were GAINED OR CREATED from the "trough" of the recession until now, November 2012.  That's an increase of 4.8%.
    • In total, 905,000 private sector jobs (in seasonally adjusted numbers) have been GAINED from the time Obama took office until now, November 2012.  That's a net increase of 0.8%. *
    • We have experienced 33 months of positive private-sector job GROWTH from February 2010 until November 2012.  We have added 5,117,000 private-sector jobs during those 33 months.    
    • We now have 111,890  PRIVATE sector non-farm jobs.
    • 4,213,000 PRIVATE-sector jobs (in seasonally adjusted numbers) were LOST from the time Obama took office until the "trough" of the recession in early 2010.  
    • 5,570,000 PRIVATE-sector jobs (in seasonally adjusted numbers) were GAINED OR CREATED from the "trough" of the recession until now, November 2012. 
    • In total, 1,358,000 private sector jobs (in seasonally adjusted numbers) have been GAINED from the time Obama took office until now, November 2012. 
    • We now have 112,343,000 PRIVATE sector non-farm jobs.
    *Though, as of November 2012, we still have fewer private-sector jobs (in adjusted numbers) than when President Obama took office, jobs are being added at a faster clip under Obama than under George Bush at the same time in his presidency.  At this point in Bush's presidency (November 2004), there were still 1,141,000 FEWER private sector jobs than when he was inaugurated in January 2001 (compared to 1,358,000 MORE for Obama).  The number of private-sector jobs didn't eclipse the number when Bush was first inaugurated until June 2005, in Bush's second term.  
    How many GOVERNMENT jobs have been lost or gained since Obama was inaugurated?  (Government jobs include federal, state, and local government jobs.)
    • 102,000 GOVERNMENT jobs (in seasonally adjusted numbers) were LOST from the time Obama took office until the "trough" of the recession in early 2010.  That's a decrease of  .47%  (about half of a percent). 
    • Another 509,000 GOVERNMENT jobs (in seasonally adjusted numbers) were LOST from the "trough" of the recession until now, November 2012.  That's a decrease of 2.3%.    
    • In total, 614,000 GOVERNMENT jobs (in seasonally adjusted numbers) were LOST from the time Obama took office until now, November 2012.  That's a decrease of 2.7%.  A large portion of these jobs, at least 200,000, have been lost in the "Local Government - Education" sector. (Teachers.)
    • We have experienced decreases in the number of government jobs in 24 out of the last 30 months, starting in June 2010, when the layoff of 2010 Census workers began.  However, we have experienced slight increases in the number of government jobs in the last 3 out of the last 5 months.     
    • We now have 21,962,000 GOVERNMENT jobs, not including people in the military.  (Civilians employed by the U.S. and working for the military are counted.)
    • Another 576,000 GOVERNMENT jobs (in seasonally adjusted numbers) were LOST from the "trough" of the recession until now, October 2012.      
    • In total, 681,000 GOVERNMENT jobs (in seasonally adjusted numbers) were LOST from the time Obama took office until now, November 2012.
    • We now have 21,895,000 GOVERNMENT jobs, not including people in the military.  (Civilians employed by the U.S. and working for the military are counted.)
    (Note:  Current numbers taken from the June Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Situation Report.  Historical numbers taken from various archived Employment Situation reports as indexed HERE. Specifics will be provided upon request; please email me or leave a comment.)

    An afterthought---

    A reader asks:

    How Many Private Sector Jobs Were Lost Because of Obama?

    We haven't lost ANY private sector jobs (net) since February 2010, a year after Obama took office.  Between January 2009 and February 2010, we lost 4,213,000 private sector jobs as stated above.

    Should we "blame" Obama for not being immediately able to stem the tide of private sector job loss in 2009?  If a house is burning out of control and the fire department comes to put out the fire, it continues to burn until it is brought under control and cooled down, right?  Now.. would you blame the fire department for the continued fire and the time to put it out after the firefighters arrive on the scene?

    Well, you might, but I wouldn't:  Here's my reasoning:  Burning Down the House!

    So my answer to this question would be a big, fat ZERO.  I do NOT feel that Obama is to blame for any loss of jobs between January 2009 and February 2010.  If you think he is, please leave a comment and explain your reasoning!

    Tuesday, December 11, 2012

    From a Rightie: You're Full of It!

    A great lesson on how the right wing lies, obfuscates, and misrepresents:


    Google "73% of new jobs are government jobs" and every right-wing blog and website from here to the moon will jump out at you begging you to click on their link.

    Except that it is a lie.

    I've seen this lie posted on many forums, discussion boards, and rightie blogs over the weekend.  I read through the BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) reports and databases pretty carefully as soon as they are released, and I knew this was just plain bullcocky.  It took me a while to find the source, as one rightie was copying this almost verbatim from another rightie.

    Foul Excrement

    The righties.. not sure which particular brand of righties..are playing tricks on their followers; and their followers, many of whom would not know a fact if it dropped from the sky and hit them on the head, are buying this foul excrement and spreading it all over the Internet.

    Here's the schtick, apparently based on something posted at the right wing rag CNS (Sorry, as of this minute I do not have a direct link; I'll try to find one.): 
    (CNSNews.com) – Seventy-three percent of the new civilian jobs created in the United States over the last five months are in government, according to official data published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. 
    In June, a total of 142,415,000 people were employed in the U.S, according to the BLS, including 19,938,000 who were employed by federal, state and local governments. 
    By November, according to data BLS released today, the total number of people employed had climbed to 143,262,000, an overall increase of 847,000 in the six months since June. 
    In the same five-month period since June, the number of people employed by government increased by 621,000 to 20,559,000. These 621,000 new government jobs created in the last five months equals 73.3 percent of the 847,000 new jobs created overall.

    This is how the right wingers take numbers out of context without understanding and how they use them to deceive their gullible flock.  It's probably the BEST example I've seen of lying with numbers lately.  Look at the definition of propaganda techniques HERE and read about "Card Stacking".  This is classic.  

    Here's my explanation of this absurd b.s.:

    Whoever came up with this and spread it throughout the right wing blogosphere is using numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports without knowing their meaning and context.  Or someone wanted to DELIBERATELY fool the right-wingers--- again.

    First of all, the specific numbers that are included in that CNS piece are correct... You can find those numbers on various Bureau of Labor Statistics charts.  But those numbers have been taken out of context and are completely meaningless. 

    There are TWO different surveys from TWO different sources that are part of the monthly jobs numbers:
    • The Establishment Survey (the "jobs" or "payroll" report) uses numbers from incorporated businesses who have people on their payrolls.
    • The Household Survey (the unemployment rate and number of people working) relies on self-reported numbers. The Household Survey also gets  information from agricultural workers and people who are self-employed. (These groups of workers are not part of the Establishment Survey "jobs" numbers, but they are part of the unemployment rate and the number of people employed and unemployed).  

    The Establishment Survey uses a bigger sample, meaning a higher percentage of its base, and it is therefore more accurate and less volatile than the data that comes from the Household Survey (which is one reason why numbers of people employed, the unemployment rate, and the number of people in the Civilian Labor Force tend to jump up and down quite a bit.)



    The propaganda from CNS uses numbers that come from the Household Survey.  They are NOT using the numbers of employees reported on the more accurate and consistent Establishment Survey.  



    The CNS piece is comparing numbers taken from June and comparing them to numbers taken in November.  Now numbers from both the Household and the Establishment Survey are seasonally adjusted, meaning adjusted for  variations that happen regularly at various times of the year.

    However, the reality is that the number of people who say they are working for the government on the Household Survey goes down during the summer (think teachers), even with the seasonal adjustments, which sometimes can be a bit off.  You can see the summer drop  in the graph below.

    In "real" unadjusted jobs numbers, the number of employees in the state "Government: State and Local Education" sectors go down about 2,000,000 each summer.  

    They reach their nadir in July and start coming back in August.  So... unless those seasonal adjustments are really perfect, comparing government numbers in summer with those in the fall is going to be really, really, REALLY deceptive.  And the Household numbers seasonal adjustments are often not that perfect and they are much LESS perfect than the Establishment seasonal adjustments.  
        
    So let's look at numbers that make more sense:  The numbers from November 2011 to November 2012: 

    • From the Establishment "jobs" report:  1,889,000 MORE non-agricultural payroll jobs altogether, and 42,000 FEWER government jobs. That's from the BLS B-1 Establishment table.  
    • The Household Survey tables, when compared over a year, from Nov to Nov, show these results: 2,721,000 MORE people reporting themselves as employed (This includes agricultural workers and self-employed workers, but it also includes revisions for the 2010 Census). In that survey, 125,000 MORE people say they are working for the "government". I would guess that employers reporting payrolls are more accurate. 


    Here's a graph that shows the difference in government employment numbers as reported by employers (blue bar) and as reported by employees (green bar):





    Notice that the various government entities consistently report much higher employment than the people who say they work for the government.  There are a few possible reasons for this:  

    People who work a temporary or part-time government job, perhaps substitute teaching or working as a teacher's aide, may not report themselves as employed during the summer months, though they may still be listed on their employer's payrolls.  And the seasonal adjustments may just not be that good in the Household Survey.

    Here's a good rule of thumb:  Don't use the "A" Household tables to look at government numbers unless you are trying to deceive people.  They aren't reliable nor are they adequately adjusted for seasonal variations.

    Another good rule of thumb:  Look at numbers over a similar period of time.  A year is a good period of time.  Three months or six months might do, but you can't just take ONE three month or six month period..  you'd need to look at a few.  Any month when compared to any other random month will give you random results.  Even the monthly October-to-November numbers don't show much.  It takes a few months for any trend to really be significant.  

    My Closing Comment :

    My comment to one of the many who quoted this article with absolute faith that the right wing blogosphere would never think of leading them up Jon Stewart's Bullshit Mountain (Well, Fox's Bullshit Mountain.  Stewart just keeps reminding us of the smell.): 

    You are being lied to by CNS and other right wing outlets. 
    Look at the B-1 tables on the BLS databases and you will see that government jobs continue to decline. 
    CNS is using self-reported numbers from the Household survey, comparing June (when school is out) to November.  You are being used, lied to, and deceived.

    You're Full of It.

    His answer to that: 

    You're full of it.  

    Not much to say.  Yep, I certainly am full of facts, sources, and arithmetic.  But some people just have no interest in the truth.  They like their little bubbles of misinformation.

    Monday, December 10, 2012

    No! 350,000 DID NOT Leave The Labor Force In Misery and Despair in November!

    Ah, those Republicans!  Just one laugh after another!   
    Here Is Republican Dave Camp's take on the November jobs report:
    The unemployment rate fell in November because 350,000 people gave up looking for work and dropped out of the labor force, not because significant numbers of Americans found jobs.  In fact, the survey that is used to calculate the unemployment rate showed that employment actually fell by 122,000 last month. 

    Then Jack Welch has surfaced again, tweeting this time.  This is the guy who claimed Obama was cooking the books back before the election.
    Sept/October employment revised DOWNWARD 49K..November workers looking for work DROPS 350,000...INTERESTING!!!!
    Good heavens, people!  Especially Republicans.... Don't start spouting off unless you know what you are talking about!  You may well sound like a fool to anybody who knows better, like me.. and whoever reads this.

    No.  First, the civilian labor force is a volatile number.  Yes, 350,000 people left the labor force in November.  But 578,000 people JOINED the civilian labor force in October.  Altogether, over the past year, 1,354,000 people JOINED the labor force.  Did anybody tell you that?  

    People FLOW...

    There is a "flows" report which tells how many people stopped looking for work (went from unemployed to "not in the labor force") compared to how many people started looking for work (went from "not in the labor force" to unemployed).  Then the two "gross" numbers can be "netted" out.  Last month, there were only 16,000 more people who went from unemployed to not in the labor force (stopped looking for work) than people who went from not in the labor force to unemployed.

    Actually, the reason the labor force went down in November is not because people stopped "looking for work" but because people left their jobs.  Now why do I say "left their jobs" vs. being laid off?  Because if people were laid off, the flows report would show people going from employed to unemployed.  But, by and large, people went from employed to "not in the labor force".  That means that most of them quit their jobs.

    3,594,000 people who were not in the labor force in October were employed in November.  And 3,962,000 people who were employed in October reported themselves as not in the labor force.. meaning not looking for work.. in November.  That's a net of 368,000 people who decided to stay home.. and that's just about the same number as the net exodus of people in the labor force.

    Hundreds of Thousands Quit Their Jobs

    So, no, hundreds of thousands DID NOT stop looking for work; hundreds of thousands quit their jobs (though we don't know why).  And 231,000 of those people happen to be women; 136,000 are men.  But we still have NO idea as to why these people stopped working.  Retirement?  Perhaps.  Staying home with children or aging parents?  Perhaps.  But we don't know for sure.

    There's more to address in the Dave Camp statement:

    Throughout the Obama Administration, Americans have been dropping out of the labor force in droves.  This has led to significant “invisible” unemployment, as jobless individuals are no longer counted as officially unemployed once they have dropped out of the labor force and are no longer searching for work.  If these “invisible unemployed” individuals were in the official labor force, they would be counted as officially unemployed – raising the current 7.7 percent unemployment rate to almost 11 percent. 
    Sigh.
     

    Watch for my commentary on this. 

    Friday, December 7, 2012

    What Was the Unemployment Rate When Obama Took Office Compared To Now? (November 2012 Update)


    March 2013 reports will be released Friday, April 5th.  Check back then!




    What was the unemployment rate when Bush left office and Obama was inaugurated? 7.8%

    What was the unemployment rate after Obama's first full month in office (February 2009)?  8.3%


    What was the unemployment rate at peak?  10.0%

    What is today's (November 2012's) unemployment rate?   7.7%

    How many people were looking for work when Obama was inaugurated; how many were working?  And how many people are looking for work and how many are employed now?
    • Read below the graph.

    • The following chart shows the unemployment rate in three month intervals plus the current month:  






    Why are there two lines, one for "Seas Adjusted" and one for "Unadjusted"?

    The Bureau of Labor Statistics uses seasonal adjustments to adjust for the volatility in the labor market from one month to the next.  The relatively even red line above shows the unemployment rate based on seasonally adjusted numbers.  The jagged green line shows the unemployment rate based on "real", "raw" numbers; the unadjusted rate.  Notice that the green line goes up in January (after holiday layoffs) and July (school-related layoffs), and it goes down in October and April, which are strong months for workers.  (Employees are all back to school in October, and employers are staffing up for the holidays.  Schools are also full in April and employers are starting to staff up for summer, construction, vacation venues, etc.)  The green line, however, reflects "reality":  Your friends, neighbors, and family members actually working or not working.