DEC Fri, Jan 6: +156,000 jobs. Unemployment rate up slightly to 4.7%...DEC details here!.. Jobs since Obama took office?... Unemp. rate under Obama?

Friday, March 29, 2013

How Many Jobs Were Created or Lost in February 2013?



MAY 2013 BLS Jobs Numbers and Unemployment Rate Were Released Friday, June 7th.  Check HERE for detail.

How Many Jobs Created in all of 2013 to date?



236,000 new jobs were CREATED or ADDED in the month of February 2013.

The private sector generated 246,000 new jobs, but the government sector continued to shed jobs, 10,000 jobs, in February 2013.

170,000 more people reported themselves as working in February 2013. 

The unemployment rate decreased to 7.7% in February 2013.  The unemployment rate has been lower than 8.0% for 6 months in a row now.   The unemployment rate declined because: 1)  More people found work and 2)  Many young people 16 to 24 years of age left the labor force.  Many of these young people entered or re-entered school.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Weekly New Claims Numbers Pop Up

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

Weekly unemployment initial claims popped back up this week after a downward trajectory for the past month.  Unemployment claims have increased two out of the last five weeks. 


First time unemployment jobless claims increased to 357,000  for the week ending March 23rd.   This is an increase of 16,000 but it the first time in a month in which weekly first time initial claims popped above 350,000.  It is unclear whether or not this is a trend, as the Department of Labor also readjusted seasonal adjustments with this week's report.  Weekly claims numbers to date showed that employers were NOT laying people off in response to the sequester.  It's really too soon to tell if this week's claims numbers have any meaning other than the usual weekly volatility.

The four-week moving average # of claims increased by 
2,250 after decreasing by 6,250 last week.  First time claims continue at about the same level that they were in late 2007 to early 2008.  


(Even though these numbers are seasonally adjusted, weekly claims numbers are always a bit volatile and should  only be analyzed in terms of a trend over a period of weeks.  See the graph below.) 


For the week ending March 9th, 5,455,757 people were receiving unemployment benefits under one of the programs that are available (regular state, federal extended unemployment compensation, or a few other smaller programs).  This was an increase of 86,750 continuing claims since the previous week.  The increase in continuing claims occurred in the Federal Extended Unemployment Benefits program (the "Tiers") whereas claims in the Regular State program (the first 20 to 26 weeks of unemployment benefits) decreased 40,000.


Percent of Unemployed People Receiving Benefits decreased to about 43.6% for the week ending March 9th.






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:  2012-13) and the past three years (blue:  2009-10green:  2010-11 and black:  2011-12) are marked in different colors.  You can see that, as a trend, first time claims for unemployment have declined 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 November 2012.  Though the number of initial unemployment claims has been variable over the past three months, it has continued a downward trajectory.  

Be aware that:
  1. The graph above shows 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 increased by 16,000 over those reported last week.  Last week's initial claims numbers were revised upwards by  5,000. in seasonally adjusted numbers, but they were only revised upwards by about 1,800 in unadjusted numbers.  There are usually slight upwards revisions  (1,000 to 3,000) in the numbers of initial claims in most of the weeks of the past several months.  Numbers reported this week also reflected changes in seasonal adjustments.  (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/early 2013, compared to the past three years.

From the current report:
In the week ending March 23, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 357,000, an increase of 16,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 341,000. The 4-week moving average was 343,000, an increase of 2,250 from the previous week's revised average of 340,750.
The initial claims as announced last week were 336,000, so the claims from that week were revised upwards by 5,000. 

Friday, March 22, 2013

What Was the Unemployment Rate When Obama Took Office? (February 2013 update)


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 (February 2013'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 month-by-month for the latest three months:  






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 red line helps us to compare the unemployment rate over a period of months; the green line, however, reflects "reality":  Your friends, neighbors, and family members actually working or not working.  

Saturday, March 16, 2013

How Do We Get 157,000 New Jobs From 1,507,000 Layoffs?

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

How do we get 157,000 new jobs from 1,507,000 layoffs?  How do we get 157,000 new jobs from 4,247,000 new hires? 




Ah... It's called the JOLTS (Job Openings, Layoffs, and Turnover Survey) report!  I was really, really trying to explain this to someone commenting at the Huffington Post who perhaps is just not that bright:



I wrote:

Murphy, I'll try one last time. I'm really trying to explain this so that it makes sense to you.  

We don't have layoff and discharge figures from February yet. Those won't come out until next month. 

But in January, 1,507,000 people were laid off or discharged. That is the LOWEST number of people laid off or discharged during a month for at least ten years. Now 4,247,000 people were HIRED in January. That is a solid number of new hires. Meanwhile, 2,218,000 people QUIT their jobs in January. (There were also 376,000 separations for "other" reasons such as retirement.)



Now let's add this up: 4,247,000 hires MINUS 4,101,000 separations for all reasons (1,507,000 + 2,218,000 + 376,000). That comes out to 146,000 new jobs in January. (The initial jobs estimate in January was 157,000 new jobs, so these numbers are very close.)



I don't know how else to explain this. People lose jobs, millions of them, and gain jobs, millions of them every month. The "new jobs" numbers is a NET number: The number of new jobs MINUS the number of jobs lost.”

The reply from "Murphy":

4,247,000 hires would be great if it was true but since it's a load of bull then these number your pulling out your rear sucks!


Yes, people, 4,247,000 people DID get hired in January, (more info at the link) and over 3,900,000 people have been hired every month since March of 2010.  No, I don't just sit here and make up numbers. Good heavens; no wonder we have such bad political leaders. People like Murphy vote and can't even understand basic arithmetic.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Weekly Unemployment Claims REALLY Down


We have a trend...  Unemployment claims have declined four out of the last five weeks. 


First time unemployment jobless claims decreased to 332,000  for the week ending March 2nd.   This is a decrease of 10,000 but, more important, it appears to mark a solid trend of weekly first time initial claims below 350,000.  It also shows that so far employers are NOT laying people off in response to the sequester; however, as was mentioned last week, the effects of the sequester on employment may occur farther down the road.

The four-week moving average # of claims decreased by 
7,000 after decreasing by 6,750 last week.  First time claims continue at about the same level that they were in late 2007 to early 2008.  


(Even though these numbers are seasonally adjusted, weekly claims numbers are always a bit volatile and should  only be analyzed in terms of a trend over a period of weeks.  See the graph below.) 


For the week ending February 23rd, 5,619,860 people were receiving unemployment benefits under one of the programs that are available (regular state, federal extended unemployment compensation, or a few other smaller programs).  This was an increase of 217,967 continuing claims since the previous week.  The increase in continuing claims occurred in both the Regular State Claims and the Federal Extended Unemployment Benefits program (the "Tiers").


Percent of Unemployed People Receiving Benefits increased to about 45% for the week ending February 23rd.






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:  2012-13) and the past three years (blue:  2009-10green:  2010-11 and black:  2011-12) are marked in different colors.  You can see that, as a trend, first time claims for unemployment have declined 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 November 2012.  Though the number of initial unemployment claims has been variable over the past three months, it has continued a downward trajectory.  

Be aware that:
  1. The graph above shows 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 10,000 over those reported last week.  Last week's initial claims numbers were revised upwards by  2,000.  There are usually slight upwards revisions  (1,000 to 3,000) in the numbers of initial claims in most of the weeks of the past several 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/early 2013, compared to the past three years.

From the current report:
In the week ending March 9, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 332,000, a decrease of 10,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 342,000. The 4-week moving average was 346,750, a decrease of 2,750 from the previous week's revised average of 349,500.


The initial claims as announced last week were 340,000, so the claims from that week were revised upwards by 2,000. 

Current January/February/March Initial Claims Continue to be the Lowest Since Late 2007/Early 2008.

As a whole, the current numbers of initial claims continue to be the lowest Winter initial claims numbers since late 2007/early 2008.
  

Continuing regular state claims, from people who are continuing to claim unemployment through the initial 20 to 26 week regular unemployment program, declined 89,000 for the week ending March 2nd after increasing 3,000 the week before.  3,024,000 people filed continuing regular state claims in the week ending March 2nd.  As a whole, continuing regular claims continue to decline despite some individual weekly increases.  (There were 3,394,000 continuing claims a year ago.) 

Total number of people receiving unemployment insurance is 45% of the officially unemployed for the week ending February 23rd.  

The weekly report also tells us the total number of people who are receiving unemployment benefits.  For the week ending February 23rd, 5,619,860 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 12,500,000 people who are unemployed in unadjusted numbers according to the monthly February unemployment situation report which was released Friday, March 8th.  Those numbers, showing that only 45% 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) Only Available in Alaska



Extended Benefits claims were only available in Alaska during the week ending February 23rd.  

As of the week ending February 23rd, only 549 people were still receiving Extended Benefits, as mentioned above.  As recently as late April 2012, 350,579 people were receiving Extended Benefits.  A year ago, 453,300 people were receiving Extended Benefits.

Therefore, over the last ten months, 99.8% of the people who were receiving Extended Benefits are no longer receiving such benefits.  We do not know how many of these 350,000 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!



Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Job Openings, Layoffs, Turnovers January 2013


April 2013 jobs numbers have been released Friday, May 3rd.  Updates throughout the day listed HERE. 


The Lowest Number of Layoffs and Discharges Since the JOLTS Report Has Been Produced (starting in 2000):


1,507,000 people were laid off or discharged from their jobs in January 2013.  This is the lowest number of monthly "layoffs and discharges" since the report has been produced.  This makes sense, as the number of first time unemployment claims also declined in January.  We still don't know how much the sequester will impact the jobs numbers going forward. 



Here's the graph from the Bureau of Labor Statistics website:



Hires, Job Openings Good for January

The number of hires in January was 4,247,000.  While not a record, this represents the biggest number of hires in January for the past five years.   

Job Openings were 3,693,000 in January.  Again, not a record, but the highest number of job openings in January for the past five years.  


People Quitting Their Jobs Is a Good Thing.

2,218,000 people quit their jobs in January.  This was the highest number of quits since November 2008.  This is always a good sign, as people don't quit their jobs unless they have another job to go to or they anticipate that they can get another job fairly easily.

Here's the Quits graph from the BLS website:



All in all, this was a good JOLTS report, but it shows us nothing unexpected.  JOLTS data is always a month behind the regular BLS numbers.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Unemployment Claims DOWN: A Trend?!


We may have a trend...  Unemployment claims decline three out of the last four weeks.


First time unemployment jobless claims decreased to 340,000  for the week ending March 2nd.   This is a decrease of 7,000 but it appears to mark a solid trend of weekly first time initial claims in the 340,000's (vs. jumping back and forth and up and down about 30,000 claims a week).  It also shows that so far employers are NOT laying people off in response to the sequester; however, the effects of the sequester on employment may occur farther down the road.

The four-week moving average # of claims decreased by 
7,000 after decreasing by 6,750 last week.  First time claims continue at about the same level that they were in late 2007 to early 2008.  The four-week moving average # of claims has not been this low since the week ending March 8, 2008.


(Even though these numbers are seasonally adjusted, weekly claims numbers are always a bit volatile and should  only be analyzed in terms of a trend over a period of weeks.  See the graph below.) 


For the week ending February 16th, 5,401,893 people were receiving unemployment benefits under one of the programs that are available (regular state, federal extended unemployment compensation, or a few other smaller programs).  This was a decrease of 362,275 continuing claims since the previous week.  The decrease in continuing claims was almost exclusively in claims in the Federal Extended Unemployment Benefits program (the "Tiers"), which accounted for about 60% of the decrease in continuing claims.


Percent of Unemployed People Receiving Benefits decreased to about 43.2%.








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:  2012-13) and the past three years (blue:  2009-10green:  2010-11 and black:  2011-12) are marked in different colors.  You can see that, as a trend, first time claims for unemployment have declined 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 November 2012.  Though the number of initial unemployment claims has been variable over the past three months, it has continued a downward trajectory.  

Be aware that:
  1. The graph above shows 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 7,000 over those reported last week.  Last week's initial claims numbers were revised upwards by  3,000.  There are usually slight upwards revisions  (1,000 to 3,000) in the numbers of initial claims in most of the weeks of the past several 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/early 2013, compared to the past three years.

From the current report:
In the week ending March 2, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 340,000, a decrease of 7,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 347,000. The 4-week moving average was 348,750, a decrease of 7,000 from the previous week's revised average of 355,750.
The initial claims as announced last week were 344,000, so the claims from that week were revised upwards by 3,000. 

Current January/February/March Initial Claims Continue to be the Lowest Since Late 2007/Early 2008.

As a whole, the current numbers of initial claims continue to be the lowest January/February/March initial claims numbers since late 2007/early 2008.
  

Continuing regular state claims, from people who are continuing to claim unemployment through the initial 20 to 26 week regular unemployment program, increased 3,000 for the week ending February 23rd after decreasing 91,000 the week before.  3,094,000 people filed continuing regular state claims in the week ending February 23rd.  As a whole, continuing regular claims continue to decline despite some individual weekly increases.  (There were 3,436,000 continuing claims a year ago.) 

Total number of people receiving unemployment insurance is 41% of the officially unemployed for the week ending February 16th.  

The weekly report also tells us the total number of people who are receiving unemployment benefits.  For the week ending February 16th, 5,401,893 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 12,500,000 people who are unemployed in unadjusted numbers according to the monthly February unemployment situation report which was released Friday, March 8th.  Those numbers, showing that only 43.2% 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) Only Available in Alaska



Extended Benefits claims were only available in Alaska during the week ending February 16th.  

As of the week ending February 16th, only 555 people were still receiving Extended Benefits, as mentioned above.  As recently as late April 2012, 350,579 people were receiving Extended Benefits.  A year ago, 473,762 people were receiving Extended Benefits.

Therefore, over the last ten months, 99.8% of the people who were receiving Extended Benefits are no longer receiving such benefits.  We do not know how many of these 350,000 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!



Saturday, March 2, 2013

How Many New Jobs Were Added (Created) or Lost in February 2013?

Private & Government Jobs Gained & Lost Under Obama (February 2013 update)

How many jobs (total, private, and government) have been lost or gained since Obama was inaugurated? 
  • 4,311,000 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%.    
  • 5,726,000 jobs (in seasonally adjusted numbers) were CREATED from the "trough" of the recession until now, February 2013.  That's an increase of 4.4%.
  • In total, 1,415,000  jobs (in seasonally adjusted numbers) were ADDED from the time Obama took office until now, February 2013.  That's an increase of 1.1%.
  • We have experienced 29 months WITHOUT job losses since September 2010.  We have ADDED 5,118,000 jobs during those 29 months. 
  • We now have 135,046,000 TOTAL non-farm jobs. 
*  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 (February 2005), there were only 194,000 MORE jobs than when he was inaugurated in January 2001 compared to 1,415,000 MORE for Obama


    How many PRIVATE sector jobs have been lost or gained since Obama was inaugurated?
    • 4,198,000 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%.
    • 6,353,000 PRIVATE-sector jobs (in seasonally adjusted numbers) were GAINED OR CREATED from the "trough" of the recession until now, February 2013.  That's an increase of 5.9%.
    • In total, 2,155,000 private sector jobs (in seasonally adjusted numbers) have been GAINED from the time Obama took office until now, February 2013.  That's a net increase of 1.9%. *
    • We have experienced 36 months of positive private-sector job GROWTH from February 2010 until February 2013.  We have added 6,353,000 private-sector jobs during those 36 months.    
    • We now have 113,203,000  PRIVATE sector non-farm jobs.
    *As of February 2013,  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 (February 2005), there were still 715,000 FEWER private sector jobs than when he was inaugurated in January 2001 compared to 2,155,000 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.)
    • 113,000 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  .5%  (about half of a percent). 
    • Another 627,000 GOVERNMENT jobs (in seasonally adjusted numbers) were LOST from the "trough" of the recession until now, February 2013.  That's a decrease of 2.8%.    
    • In total, 740,000 GOVERNMENT jobs (in seasonally adjusted numbers) were LOST from the time Obama took office until now, February 2013.  That's a decrease of 3.3%.  A large portion of these jobs, at least 350,000, have been lost in the "Local Government - Education" sector. (Teachers.)
    • We have experienced decreases in the number of government jobs in 25 out of the last 33 months, starting in June 2010, when the layoff of 2010 Census workers began.  We have experienced declines in the number of government jobs in the last 5 months in a row.     
    • We now have 21,843,000 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 4,198,000 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!