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Friday, March 9, 2012

What Was the Unemployment Rate When Obama Took Office? (February 2012 update)

The following numbers are from February 2012.  For current reports, please click one of the links above.

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

How high did it go?  10.0% 
What is today's (February 2012's) unemployment rate?   8.3%

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?   Keep reading!

 Current jobs numbers and reports available HERE!!

The following numbers are from February 2012.  For current reports, please click the link above.

The Unemployment Rate when Obama took office:
  • For the record, when Obama took office in January 2009, the "official" unemployment rate in seasonally adjusted numbers was 7.8%, with 12,049,000 people reporting themselves as unemployed and actively looking.  142,187,000 people were working in January 2009.*  (These numbers are adjusted slightly since original publication as the Bureau of Labor Statistics updates its numbers.  The original January 2009 unemployment rate reported by the BLS in February 2009 was 7.6%)  
  • 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.  140,436,000 people were working in numbers not adjusted for seasonal variance.

The Unemployment Rate at its Peak: 
  • At the "trough" (bottom in terms of jobs) of the recession in late 2009/early 2010, the "official" unemployment rate in seasonally adjusted numbers climbed to 10.0% in October 2009 with 15,421,000 people (out of a labor force of 153,822,000) reporting themselves as unemployed.   138,401,000 were working in October 2009; however, the lowest number of people working was reported in December 2009, when 137,792,000 people (in seasonally adjusted numbers) were working.    
  • 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 152,957,000) reporting themselves as unemployed and actively looking for work.  Only 136,809,000 were working (in "raw" unadjusted numbers) in January 2010.

The Unemployment Rate Now:
  • Now, in February 2012, the "official" unemployment rate in seasonally adjusted numbers is at 8.3%, with 12,806,000 (out of a labor force of 154,871,000) unemployed and actively looking for work.  142,065,000 people are working now.  (Last month 141,637,000 were working.  This is an increase of 428,000 people working.)  The unemployment rate remained the same due to an additional 476,000 people who entered the labor force in February.  (The unemployment rate has now decreased .6% since October.) 
  • In unadjusted "raw" numbers the unemployment rate is now 8.7%, an decrease of .1% (one-tenth of a percent) since January.  In "raw" real numbers, 13,430,000 (out of a labor force of 154,114,000) are unemployed and actively looking for work.  140,684,000 are working now in "raw" numbers unadjusted for seasonal variation.  (This is an increase of 740,000 people working.)

To Summarize the Unemployment Rate Now Compared to When Obama Took Office:
  • Using seasonally adjusted numbers, the unemployment rate was 7.8% (and rising quickly) when Obama took office, and it is 8.3% today.   12,049,000 were officially unemployed back then, and 12,806,000 are unemployed today.  
  • Using nonseasonally adjusted numbers, the unemployment rate was already 8.5% when Obama took office, and it is 8.7% today.   13,009,000 were officially unemployed in "raw" numbers back then, and 13,430,000 are officially unemployed in "raw" numbers now. 
(Note:  All of my employment number reports are based on monthly reports and data published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  Monthly numbers reports are based on the monthly Employment Situation Report.  The Employment Situation report includes month over month and year over year jobs numbers.  My analysis is taken from the monthly BLS data copied to an Excel spreadsheet every month.  I calculate detailed percentage increases/decreases, 3 month numbers, 2011 to date numbers, and I compare jobs numbers to those at the time of Obama's inauguration and at the "trough" of the recession.)

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