FEB Fri, Mar 10:+235,000 jobs. Unemployment down slightly to 4.7%...FEB details coming.. Jobs since Trump took office?... Unemp. rate under Obama? (not yet updated)

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Changes in State Eligibility for Unemployment Insurance (July 2013)

Changes in state unemployment rates announced last week have resulted in changes in availability of unemployment insurance benefits in Maine, New Jersey, West Virginia, Louisiana, and the Virgin Islands.  Changes will take effect between the last week in June and the first two weeks in July as described below. 

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Update July 24, 2013:  There have been or will be changes to available weeks of benefits in California, Washington, Rhode Island, North Carolina, Delaware, Illinois, Alabama, Mississippi, and Michigan.  Please check THIS LINK (How Many Weeks of Unemployment Will I Get?) for details.

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As unemployment insurance benefits are tied into the unemployment rate for your particular state, changes to your state's unemployment rate may increase or decrease the number of weeks of benefits to which you are entitled.

Weeks of unemployment insurance availability are changing for New Jersey, Maine, West Virginia, Louisiana, and the Virgin Islands. 

The Department of Labor announced changes HERE for the above listed states on Thursday, June 27th, as listed below:


  • People in Maine Cannot Move to Tier 3:
Maine's TUR has fallen below the 7.0% trigger threshold to remain "on" Tier 3 of EUC08. 
Based on data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on June 21, 2013, the three month average, seasonally adjusted total unemployment rate in Maine fell below the 7.0% trigger rate threshold to remain "on" in Tier 3 of EUC. The week ending July 13, 2013, will be the last week in which EUC08 claimants in the Maine who have exhausted Tier 2, and are otherwise eligible, can establish Tier 3 eligibility.
The maximum number of weeks of unemployment insurance available in Maine will decline from 63 weeks to 54 weeks after July 13, 2013, though people on Tier 3 before July 13th can complete those 9 weeks.

  • People in New Jersey Cannot Move to Tier 4:
New Jersey's TUR has fallen below the 9.0% trigger threshold to remain "on" Tier 4 of EUC08.  
Based on data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on June 21, 2013, the three month average, seasonally adjusted total unemployment rate in New Jersey fell below the 9.0% trigger rate threshold to remain "on" in Tier 4 of EUC08. The week ending July 13, 2013, will be the last week in which EUC08 claimants in the New Jersey who have exhausted Tier 3, and are otherwise eligible, can establish Tier 4 eligibility.

The maximum number of weeks of unemployment insurance available in New Jersey will decline from 73 weeks to 63 weeks after July 13, 2013, though people on Tier 4 before July 13th can complete those 10 weeks.


  • People in West Virginia Cannot Move to Tier 3: 

West Virginia's TUR has fallen below the 7.0% trigger threshold to remain "on" Tier 3 of EUC08.

Based on data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on June 21, 2013, the three month average, seasonally adjusted total unemployment rate in West Virginia fell below the 7.0% trigger rate threshold to remain "on" in Tier 3 of EUC08. The week ending July 13, 2013, will be the last week in which EUC08 claimants in the West Virginia who have exhausted Tier 2, and are otherwise eligible, can establish Tier 3 eligibility. (Note: The state notice at the DOL website reads that claimants in West Virginia "who have exhausted Tier 2, and are otherwise eligible, can establish Tier 4 eligibility", but I believe that is a misprint. Tier 3 now follows Tier 2, not Tier 4.)

The maximum number of weeks of unemployment insurance available in West Virginia will decline from 63 weeks to 54 weeks after July 13, 2013, though people on Tier 3 before July 13th can complete those 9 weeks.

  • People in Louisiana will qualify for 14 extra weeks under Tier 2 starting July 14, 2013.  
Louisiana's trigger value meets the 6.0% threshold to trigger "on" to Tier 2, but mandatory "off" period in EUC08 delays trigger "on" date. 
Based on data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on June 21, 2013, the three month average, seasonally adjusted total unemployment rate in Louisiana has met the 6.0% trigger rate threshold to trigger "on" in Tier 2 of EUC08. However, Louisiana is currently in a mandatory 13 week "off" period that started April 13, 2013, and will not conclude before July 13, 2013. As a result, Louisiana will remain in an "off" period in Tier 2 of EUC08 through July 13, 2013, and will trigger "on" to Tier 2 of EUC08 effective July 14, 2013. The week beginning July 14, 2013, will be the first week in which EUC08 claimants in Louisiana who have exhausted Tier 1, and are otherwise eligible, can establish Tier 2 eligibility.

The maximum number of weeks of unemployment insurance available in Louisiana will increase from 40 weeks to 54 weeks starting with the week beginning July 14, 2013.  


  • People in the Virgin Islands will qualify for 23 extra weeks under Tier 2 and Tier 3 starting with the week beginning June 30, 2013.


The Virgin Islands trigger value meets the 7.0% threshold to trigger "on" to Tier 2 and Tier 3, but mandatory "off" period in EUC08 delays trigger "on" date.



Based on data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on June 7, 2013, the estimated three month average, seasonally adjusted total unemployment rate in the Virgin Islands has met the 7.0% trigger rate threshold to trigger "on" in Tier 2 and Tier 3 of EUC08. However, the Virgin Islands is currently in a mandatory 13 week "off" period that started March 31, 2013, and will not conclude before June 29, 2013. As a result, the Virgin Islands will remain in an "off" period in Tier 2 and Tier 3 of EUC08 through June 29, 2013, and will trigger "on" to Tier 2 and Tier 3 of EUC08 effective June 30, 2013. The week beginning June 30, 2013, will be the first week in which EUC08 claimants in the Virgin Islands who have exhausted Tier 2, and are otherwise eligible, can establish Tier 3 eligibility.

The maximum number of weeks of unemployment insurance available in the Virgin Islands will increase from 40 weeks to 63 weeks starting June 30, 2013. 








Thursday, June 20, 2013

Weekly Initial Unemployment Claims Up and Down


Weekly unemployment initial claims increased by 18,000 this week to 354,000 after decreasing the last two weeks.  Weekly claims seem unable to break below a mid 300,000 range of claims, as is obvious from the chart below.


Weekly claims numbers tend to be volatile and weekly seasonal adjustment factors can also throw the numbers off, so any one week change is not meaningful until we see if it becomes a pattern (or does not become a pattern) over a series of weeks.
  (For instance, the chart below shows that a significant increase in initial claims at the end of March did not continue.)  


First time unemployment jobless claims increased to 354,000  for the week ending June 15th.   This is a modest increase of 18,000 claims.  Since the beginning of the year, new weekly claims have remained in the 325,000 to 365,000 range for nineteen out of the past twenty weeks.  

The four-week moving average # of claims, which smooths some of the week-to-week volatility, increased by 
2,500 last week after decreasing by 6,750 the week before.  It is now 348,250.  Initial claims continue now at about the same level that they were five years ago, in late 2007 to early 2008.  


(Even though the weekly initial claims numbers are seasonally adjusted, these 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 June 1st, 4,533,560 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 increase of about 18,000  overall claims since the previous week.  Most of the increase was in the number of continuing claims in the Regular State program (the first 20 to 26 weeks of unemployment benefits), which increased by 35,000.  Continuing claims in the Federal Extended Unemployment Benefits program (the "Tiers") decreased  by about  19,000 claims.

About 1,285,000 FEWER 
people are receiving unemployment benefits now vs. one year ago.  We do not know what has happened to the people who are no longer receiving benefits; we do not know how many of those 1,285,702 people found employment, how many retired, and how many are still looking for work.  We do know that there are 1,596,000 more people reporting themselves as employed than a year ago and there are  2,115,000 more non-farm jobs.  We also know that a grand total of 52,084,000 hires have been made by employers between April 2012 and April 2013, the latest month for which numbers are available.  (Some people may have been hired more than once during the year, so the number of "hires" is generally higher than the number of people who have been hired.)   

 

The percent of unemployed people receiving benefits increased to about 40.1% for the week ending June 1st.


If you are receiving benefits, you may be interested in these two reports:  




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:  2013) and the past three years (blue:  2010green:  2011 and black:  2012) 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.  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.


In the week ending June 15, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 354,000, an increase of 18,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 336,000. The 4-week moving average was 348,250, an increase of 2,500 from the previous week's revised average of 345,750.
As usual, to put all of this into perspective, check out the red line on the chart above to see where jobless claims are now, in 2013, compared to the past three years.

First time unemployment claims increased by 20,000 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 weeks.  (The chart above shows REVISED claims numbers.)


The initial claims as announced last week were 334,000, so the claims from that week were revised upwards by 2,000 to 336,000. 


Current Spring 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-Spring 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, decreased by 40,000 for the week ending June 8th after increasing by 20,000  the week before.  2,951,000 people filed continuing regular state claims in the week ending June 8th.  As a whole, continuing regular claims continue to decline despite some individual weekly increases.  (There were 3,318,000 continuing claims a year ago.) 

Total number of people receiving unemployment insurance is 40.1% of the officially unemployed for the week ending June 1st.  

The weekly report also tells us the total number of people who are receiving unemployment benefits.  For the week ending June 1st, 4,533,560 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 11,302,000 people who are unemployed in unadjusted numbers according to the monthly May unemployment situation report which was released Friday, June 7th.  Those numbers, showing that only 40.1% 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) No Longer Available in any State




As of the week ending June 1st, only 328 people were still receiving Extended Benefits, as mentioned above.  A year ago, 111,000 people were receiving Extended Benefits.  As recently as April 2012, 412,411 people were receiving Extended Benefits.

Therefore, over the last year, 99.9% of the people who were receiving Extended Benefits are no longer receiving such benefits.  We do not know how many of these 412,000 people receiving Extended Benefits in April 2012 have 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!



Friday, June 7, 2013

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

June 2013 BLS Jobs Numbers and Unemployment Rate Were Released Friday, July 5th.  Check HERE for details.

The report has been updated for June 2013 HERE!!

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%
How many people were looking for work when Obama was inaugurated; how many were working; how many were employed?  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.  

How Many Jobs Has Obama Created or Lost?



How many NET jobs created or lost under Obama as of May 2013?

How many private sector jobs have been lost or added during Obama's presidency?

How many new jobs in the last 4 years since Obama was inaugurated?


How many Americans were working or employed when Obama took office... compared to now?


Answers to all of these questions below the links..

Numbers for May with all revisions:

Since the "trough" of the recession in late 2009/early 2010 in seasonally adjusted numbers:
  • 6.3 million MORE jobs in total
  • 6.9 million MORE private sector jobs
  • 5,873,000 MORE people working 

Since Bush left office & Obama took office (January 2009) in seasonally adjusted numbers:
  • 2.0 million MORE jobs in total
  • 2.7 million MORE private sector jobs
  • 1,745,000 MORE people working

Have any private jobs been lost (net) over the past 39 months?
NO!
  • 39 months of consecutive private-sector job growth.

Have any jobs been lost (net) over the past 32 months?

NO!
  • 32 months of consecutive overall job growth.
Are more people unemployed now than when Obama took office in January 2009?  
NO!
  • Despite 1,426,000 MORE people in the labor force (either working or actively looking for work) now vs. January 2009, there are 319,000 FEWER people unemployed now than in January 2009. 

What's the difference between "net" and "gross" jobs gained and lost?


Let's get something straight:  Jobs are lost every week and every month.  People are fired, people are laid off, businesses or locations are closed and everybody is let go. 
 

Also people quit every week.  You yourself, dear reader,  may have quit a job at some point in time. 


But people are also HIRED every week and every month.  New businesses open, businesses expand, businesses replace people who have left or been fired.  Every week.  You yourself, dear reader, may have been hired for a job at some point in time.  This happens in good times and bad. 

Yes, even in bad times, people are getting hired.  Even in good times, people are let go.  

Now:  The monthly jobs reportupon which this article is based, presents estimates based on surveys as to how many jobs are gained or lost in a given month.  Those numbers are based on the number of new jobs (people getting hired, businesses opening) MINUS the number of jobs that have been cut (people getting fired, people quitting, businesses closing or cutting back).

The monthly jobs report therefore reports NET job growth or loss.  


For 32 months in this country, we have had MORE jobs being added than we have had jobs being cut.  For 39 months in the private sector (not counting federal workers, state or local workers such as teachers, firemen, cops, or people who staff the DMV, only counting people who work for private businesses), we have had MORE jobs added than we have had jobs being cut.


To reiterate:  How many jobs have been created in the last 4 years versus how many jobs have been lost?

There are two million
MORE jobs created in the last four years than jobs that have been lost.
All numbers provided on monthly jobs reports, which is what the series on jobs created/lost under Obama is based, are NET jobs numbers.  In other words, they reflect gains after all job losses are subtracted, or they reflect job losses after all gains are added. 
For the past 39 months (as of May 2013), we have had NET gains in private jobs numbers every month.  In other words, in every month since February 2010, more private jobs have been created than have been lost.  In every month since September 2010, more jobs in total have been created than have been lost.


Fact check and important information on these jobs numbers...
The above jobs numbers are from the BLS jobs report of May 2013, which was released in June 2013.  The surveys used to gather these numbers are taken as of the week which includes the 12th day of the month, in this case, May 12, 2013. 

I Love the Chicago Fed.. Today..


How Many Jobs Do We Need a Month to Accommodate the Growing Population and Reduce the Unemployment Rate?


In an article published yesterday in the Global Economic Intersection blog 
(and several other outlets),  Daniel Aaronson, vice president and director of microeconomic research, and Scott Brave, senior business economist, at The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, have validated my claim that we need many thousands of jobs a month fewer to provide for a growing population than most economists claim due to changing demographics.  They believe we now need about 80,000 jobs a month:



I had calculated last fall that we needed about 65,000 jobs to reduce the unemployment rate and accommodate the growing population due to changing demographics.  They used much more sophisticated methods than I used and they went into Census estimates and discussed the possible influence of immigration (which I didn't), but I'm pleased that somebody with some authority is looking at things the same way that I am. 

Over the past few years, since we started a fairly sluggish recovery from this miserable recession, the "pundits" have been complaining and complaining more that we are not generating enough jobs to "accommodate population growth".  Most pundits believe we need at least 125,000 and some people even conjecture that we need 200,000 due to population growth.  I've always felt that was wrong (as I explained in the above linked article) because almost all of the growth is occurring among the oldest age groups as people age into those older age groups, and those older people are in the labor force in lower percentages than younger people.

Let's get one thing straight, however.  We still have a huge jobs deficit that is only slowly being erased.  But what the Chicago Fed report indicates is that it will probably take us less time to erase that jobs deficit.  When we add more than 80,000 jobs a month, those extra jobs reduce the jobs deficit.  We don't need 150,000 jobs a month to reduce the jobs deficit.

Chicago..

I'm sure that at least one or two illogical people will contend that those guys are from the Chicago Fed, and, as they are from Chicago and are part of the government, the fix must be in and they are trying to make bad data look good and "all those Chicago guys stick together".  Sure.  That just has to be it.  (Yes, I'm being sarcastic right there.)

May 2013 Unemployment Rate Jobs Numbers

May 2013 Jobs Numbers and Unemployment Rate were released this morning, Friday, June 7th.  Reports and detail will be added throughout the day.
Highlights:

  • 175,000 new nonfarm payroll jobs (net)
  • 178,000 new private sector nonfarm jobs
  • Unemployment rate about even at 7.6%.  (The unemployment rate actually increased from 7.51% to 7.55%)
  • Number of people unemployed increased by 101,000 as 182,000 people re-enter the labor force and start looking for jobs. 
  • Government lost 3,000 jobs
  • Civilian labor force expanded by 420,000
  • People employed (includes farm workers and the self-employed) increased by 319,000
  • Alternate (U-6) unemployment rate decreased due to decreases in the the number of discouraged workers, the number of marginally-attached workers, and the number of people working part-time because they could not find full-time work.
  • The percent of people working full-time has increased over the past year from 80.3% to 80.8%.
Watch this post.  As details and reports are published Friday, the following links will be added and updated.




Other Recent Posts About Employment and the Labor Market:

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

ADP Says 135,000 Private Jobs Added in May 2013



Is the sequester impacting job growth?  ADP shows lackluster private sector job growth in May.    

ADP job numbers for May 2013 show continued private-sector job growth, but lower growth than expected as private employers add 135,000 jobs.


The monthly jobs report from the payroll processor ADP is usually seen as a bellweather of the national jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics that  is released a couple of days later.  This morning's ADP report seems to indicate that, while the private sector continued to add jobs for the 39th consecutive month, job growth was weaker than last month and weaker than anticipated.

ADP's numbers are based on their own payroll transactions, "
Bureau of Labor Statistics employment data, and the Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank’s AruobaDiebold-Scotti Business Conditions Index. The sample size of the ADP data set (is derived from data) which accounts for more than 20 percent of all U.S. private sector employees."

BLS Jobs Numbers and Unemployment Rate To Be Released Friday, June 7th.

Bureau of Labor Statistics employment reports are not released until Friday, so we will have to wait until then (June 7th) to see if the BLS agrees.

Last month, ADP claimed 119,000 new private sector jobs (revised downwards to 113,000 new private sector jobs this month) but the BLS estimated that 176,000 private sector jobs were added.  ADP estimated that 641,000 private sector jobs were added in the first four months of 2013, while the BLS estimated that 813,000 private sector jobs were added in those same first four months.


ADP writes:
Private sector employment increased by 135,000 jobs from April to May ... on a seasonally-adjusted basis. April’s job gains were revised downward to 113,000 from 119,000.
Highlights: 
  • Small businesses (1-49 employees) +58,000
  • Medium businesses (50-499 employees) +39,000
  • Large businesses (500 or more employees) +39,000
From MSNBC's Money, under a headline that says "Wall Street Opens Lower After ADP Data":
Stocks opened lower after data showing job growth remained sluggish did little to ease concerns the Federal Reserve may slow the pace of its economic stimulus program.

The ADP report also shows that most job growth occurred in the service-providing sector which added 138,000 out of the 135,000 jobs last month.  (The goods producing segment was estimated to have lost 3,000 jobs.)
Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics, is quoted in the ADP report: 
The job market continues to expand, but growth has slowed since the beginning of the year. The slowdown is evident across all industries and all but the largest companies. Manufacturers are reducing payrolls. The softer job market this spring is largely due to significant fiscal drag from tax increases and government spending cuts.
When attempting to make any sense of this ADP report, here are a few things to consider:
  • This is an estimate based mostly on ADP's survey of its payroll processing private-sector clients.  Over time, it moves in parallel with the government's BLS Establishment numbers, but it is not perfectly in synch with the government's numbers.  Also, the government reports may be more accurate in tallying small startups which may not be using a payroll processing service.  The ADP numbers usually run about 300,000 to 600,000 lower than the BLS private jobs numbers in total jobs, not in increases or decreases of jobs.
  • To reiterate what I've mentioned in previous months, the stock market moves up or down not in concert with any reports of job growth (we haven't had any decline in total private jobs in three years.), but in concert with reports of job growth compared to what the pundits THINK the reports should say.  This ADP report, if supported by BLS data, still shows an increase of 135,000 jobs, which is an improvement from last month, but the pundits expected more jobs so it is seen as a disappointment.
  • Headlines are often sensational and absurd.