AUG#: +130,000 jobs.

Unemployment up at 3.7%...AUG jobs under Trump HERE

Friday, May 2, 2014

April 2014 Unemployment Rate, Jobs

April 2015 numbers were released this morning, Friday, May 8.  Details HERE.  Check back for updates throughout the day.
  +223,000 jobs, Unemp. Rate down slightly to 5.4%.

The following are outdated.  They refer to numbers and reports for April 2014.  For current reports and numbers, please use the link above.

April BLS Highlights:

  • A generally good report, with a significant addition of jobs, The BLS reports that 288,000 payroll jobs were added in April, quite a bit higher than the projected range of 200,000 to 215,000 new jobs.
  • The BLS reports that 288,000 payroll jobs were added in April, quite a bit higher than the projected range of 200,000 to 215,000 new jobs.
  • February jobs numbers were revised upwards by 25,000 and March numbers were revised upwards  by 11,000.  Job growth has averaged 190,000/month over the past 12 months.  
  • Private jobs increased by 273,000.  Construction jobs increased by 32,000; manufacturing jobs increased by 12,000. 
  • Government jobs increased by 15,000. 
  • The unemployment rate dropped significantly to 6.3%  Much of the rate drop, however, was due to people leaving the labor force, which declined by 806,000.   (People dropping out in despair?  Read more HERE.)  # of people employed dropped 73,000 in seasonally adjusted numbers, but in unadjusted "raw" numbers, employment increased by 677,000.    (The unemployment rate comes from a different source than the number of jobs which is why the unemployment rate can increase even if the number of jobs increases.  Over time, these two numbers closely parallel each other.  The unemployment rate, however, is much more volatile than the jobs numbers.  Also, the unemployment rate is not directed related to the number of people getting unemployment benefits.  This is one of the biggest employment myths out there. MORE HERE.)   
  • The alternate unemployment rate (which includes part time workers who want full time jobs, discouraged workers, and marginally attached workers) DECREASED to 12.3%, a decrease of .04%, four-tenths of a percent, the lowest since October 2008. One year ago the alternate unemployment rate was 13.9%.   All alternate unemployment measures dropped significantly in April, however, a big reason for the decrease was that people left the labor force.   
  • The labor force decreased by 806,000 in April.  This is a very big decrease, particularly for April.  We'll have to look more carefully at this number to see exactly which segments of the population left the work force in April.
  • The number of people employed, including agricultural and self-employed, decreased 73,000 in seasonally adjusted numbers in April, but, in unadjusted "raw" numbers, it increased by 677,000 in April.  Full-time workers increased by 412,000 in April, while part-timer workers decreased 398,000.
  • Since the "trough" of the recession in late 2009/early 2010 in seasonally adjusted numbers:
    • 8.6 million MORE jobs in total
    • 9.2 million MORE private sector jobs
    • 7.7 million MORE people working* 
    Since Bush left office & Obama took office (January 2009) in seasonally adjusted numbers:
    • 4.3 million MORE jobs in total
    • 5.0 million MORE private sector jobs
    • 3.5 million MORE people working*

April 2014 reports: 

The following April Jobs Projections were posted earlier in the week:
  • ADP, the private payroll service, estimated a whopping 220,000 new private sector jobs in April, with big gains in construction. This is a big increase, about 30,000 higher than the average over the past year. ADP numbers are often considered a harbinger for the BLS numbers, usually released two days after the ADP report. First time unemployment claims in early April were lower than they have been since early 2007. Now we wait until tomorrow, Friday, to see what the BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) says.
  • Projections from Fox Business: 
     "The U.S. Labor Department’s monthly jobs report is due out Friday and the numbers are widely expected to show some improvement over the March figures, when 192,000 jobs were added to the economy and the headline unemployment rate held steady at 6.7%.Gus Faucher, senior economist at PNC Financial Services Group, predicted 200,000 new jobs were added in April and that the unemployment rate will tick lower to 6.6%. A broader consensus of economists is even more optimistic, forecasting the addition of 215,000 new jobs.Faucher predicted “continued solid growth, not fantastic but more than enough to absorb new entrants into the labor force plus some of those who’ve been unemployed.”"
    Just a note:  We only need about 65,000 to 80,000 jobs a month to account for population growth, as almost all of the population growth over the last decade has been in the older age groups, the age groups in which people start to leave the labor force due to retirement.
  • USA Today summarizes:
    Economists surveyed by Action Economics predict that U.S. payrolls overall, including governments, increased by 210,000 jobs last month. Average monthly gains for January through March were 176,000.  Economists also predict Friday's report will show the unemployment rate fell to 6.6% from 6.7% in March. The latest jobs data released Thursday showed initial claims for unemployment benefits rose for the third straight week to their highest level since late February.  First-time claims last week reached a seasonally adjusted level of 344,000, up 14,000 from a week earlier.  Economists' median forecast predicted a drop to 320,000, according to Action Economics survey.  Claims have been climbing since early April when they reached a seven-year low of 301,000, but less than half their peak levels (which) were over 600,000 a week in 2009.  Jobless claims are a proxy for layoffs, so higher numbers could suggest a weakening labor market. But analysts caution that weekly unemployment claims can be volatile, not least during the Easter-school spring break period.
Just a note here as well:  I definitely want to emphasize that comment on volatile claims numbers.  Seasonal adjustments are most hinky around holidays that move, such as Easter.  And the unadjusted numbers do not show any alarming increases.  So it would not be wise to make any predictions about layoffs until we have a couple more weeks of jobless claims to consider.


  1. Below is an interesting article about how well young Americans who are in their prime working years have really been doing.

    The labor force participation rate in April 2014 for Americans ages 25 to 29 hit the lowest level recorded since 1982, when the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) started tracking such data.

    The labor force participation rate, which is the percentage of the civilian non-institutional population who participated in the labor force by either having a job during the month or actively seeking one, hit a record low in April 2014 of 79.8%.

    In January 1982, when the data were first collected, the labor force participation rate for this group was 80.7%.

    The actual number of Americans, ages 25 to 29, not participating in the labor force hit a record high in April 2014 as well, with 4,280,000 not working.

    Those classified as not in the labor force means that they are included in the civilian non-institutional population but did not have a job, and they did not actively seek one in the last four weeks.

    When the BLS started tracking these data in January 1982, there were 3,851,000 Americans, ages 25 to 29, who were not in the labor force.

    By April 2014, another 429,000 were not participating in the labor force, an increase of 11%.

    When Barack Obama took office as president in January 2009, the number of Americans 25 to 29 not in the labor force was 3,769,000. Since then, that number has gone up by 511,000, an increase of 13.6%.

    1. What do you think the ideal labor force participation rate should be? Should we keep people from retiring, from going to school, from staying home with their kids or their ailing parents? If people aren't in the labor force, how do you think they are living and paying their bills?

  2. Around 10.4 million men between the ages of 25 and 54 don't have jobs today:

  3. Around 10.4 million men between the ages of 25 and 54 don't have jobs today:

  4. I can't read that articl without paying.
    The civilian labor force participation rate for men in the prime years (25-54) peaked in the early 50's at 97.5% and has been constantly decreasing ever since. As women entered the work force, fewer men were in the work force. In 1970 it had declined to 95.8%. In 1990, 93.4%. In 2000, 91.6%. In 2010, 89.3%. It is now 87.9%. The chart number is LNS1130061 if you want to look it up at the BLS website.

    We really have no idea why people are in or not in the labor force. The labor force participation rate among prime-age men has been on a consistent downward path for 60 years. We can speculate that, as women entered the work force, more men elected to stay home. We can also speculate that, as post-graduate degrees became more prevalent, there are more people (including men) in this age range still in school and not yet working. Census numbers would have be checked to see how many men fall into this category.

    There are 61 million men now in that age group. As of October 7 million men 25-54 were not in the labor force, meaning they were not working or looking for work. Another 2.5 million were unemployed; that is, looking for work. 51 million men 25-54 were working. (In 2009, 5.6 million men in this age group were unemployed; that is, looking for work.)

    As to the NUMBER of prime-age men NOT in the labor force, that number has INCREASED EVERY YEAR except for 4 (FOUR) years out of the last 40, generally as the population has incresaed.

    The unemployment level of prime-working age men has fortunately declined to 4.6%, now as low as it was in early 2008, and at about the same level as it was during 2001 through 2004.


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