AUG#: +130,000 jobs.

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

Thursday, May 14, 2015

No! There are NOT 93 million people "long term unemployed!"

Don't get buffaloed by right-wing talking points!  We do NOT have 93 million people "unemployed" or "long term unemployed".  We only have 93 million people "not working" if you insist that there is something wrong with people retiring, staying in school, or staying home with kids.

There is a right-wing talking point out there, a talking point unfortunately picked up by some liberals and progressives, that there are "93 million people out there who are either 'not working' or 'unemployed' ".

I've talked about this many times.  I've included pie charts; I've quoted the Bureau of Labor Statistics (the BLS) and I've tried to explain the difference between "unemployed", "not working", and "not in the labor force". Unfortunately, it seems as though there are people who simply can't understand these distinctions.  My pie chart below is based primarily on two Bureau of Labor Statistics charts.  The first is the breakdown of people not in the labor force HERE; the second is the breakdown of young people 16-24 by employment and education status HERE. 

Here is an updated pie chart as of April 2015: 


I last wrote an article about this issue HERE back in January 2015.  I explained, perhaps in way too much detail, who those 93 million are and why they are NOT the same as people who are the "long-term unemployed" or "not working".  

My current concerns apply to a person who commented on the post I mentioned above, the post from January 2015.  The person brought up many more points than just the business about the "93 million people unemployed or not working", but I'm only addressing that comment because that's the one I know the best.

I will say that if all of the assertions of the person commenting are correct (which they are NOT), we should all be supporting REPUBLICANS because it would be clear that Democratic economic policies haven't done a darned thing.  I don't understand how people who believe as this commenter does can consider themselves liberals or progressives.

I have explained and explained who those 93 million people are and why they "aren't working".  I don't know what more I can say, but I will summarize:
  • Being "not in the labor force" is NOT the same as being "unemployed".  And being "unemployed" or "not in the labor force" is NOT the same as "not working".  
  • If you need a job, one would think you would be looking for work.  If you don't have a job and you are looking for work, you are "UNEMPLOYED".
  • If you aren't working AND you aren't looking for work, AND you are at least 16 AND you aren't in an institution or the military, then  you are NOT IN THE LABOR FORCE and you are part of the 93 million on the pie chart.
  • There are some people who are not working AND not looking for work who nevertheless report themselves as "wanting a job".  But until they get out there and look for work, just one effort a month, they are STILL considered "NOT IN THE LABOR FORCE".  
  • The percent of people not in the labor force who say they "want a job" is small; only about 2-3%.  
  • The overwhelming majority of people NOT IN THE LABOR FORCE are people 55+ years of age and they say they do NOT want a job.  There are 50,166,000 of those people. Think RETIREMENT!
  • Other groups of people who are NOT IN THE LABOR FORCE are people who are disabled but living at home, students in high school or college as long as they are 16, and people staying home with children.  
  • Do we really think this would be a better country if we forced people to work who were retired or disabled?  If we forced kids to quit school at 16 and work?  If we refused to let parents stay home with their kids if they want to and have the resources to do so?
  • "But people are so miserable they are dropping out of the labor force in misery and despair!  That's why there are so many people out there who are 'not working' "   Uh, no.  In April 2015, for every 1 unemployed person who "dropped OUT" of the labor force for any reason, 3.1 people dropped INTO the labor force and either started working or started looking for work. 

How are the people "not in the labor force" living and paying their bills?

Based on the demographics of the people "not in the labor force", we know that most of them are retired.  They are surviving on pensions, assets, Social Security benefits, perhaps part-time jobs, and some of them probably still have a working spouse.

The next largest piece of the pie are students; if they are in high school or college, they are probably being supported by their parents.

People from 24 to 54 who are not working are probably mostly people home with children.  They are probably being supported by the working spouse.

But aren't there people who are homeless or who have no means of support?

Are there some people "not in the labor force" who have no means of support?  Yes, there probably are.  There are people who are homeless, people on the brink of losing their homes.  The numbers of homeless people have declined over the past five years, but there are still many homeless people.  But not 93 million.  The number of homeless people in January 2014, over a year ago, was 578,000.  About ten years ago, the number of homeless people was about 800,000.  We've made progress, but we still have quite a ways to go.

In the meantime, just remember that we do NOT have 93 million people out there with no means of support or 93 million people out there "sponging" off of others.  


July 2017 details HERE.
August 2017 reports will be released
Friday, September 1, 2017.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

How Many Jobs Were Created or Lost in April 2015? Full-time? Part-time?

How Many Jobs Were Created (Gained) or Lost by firms, companies, or government employers in the U.S. in April 2015?

June 2015 numbers were released Thursday, July 2, 2015.
Details HERE. 
June: +223,000 jobs, Unemp. Rate down to 5.3%.


  • 223,000 TOTAL payroll jobs were ADDED or CREATED in seasonally adjusted numbers.  This number was almost exactly what was projected.
  • 213,000 PRIVATE payroll sector jobs were ADDED or CREATED in seasonally adjusted numbers.
  • 10,000 GOVERNMENT (federal, state, and local) jobs were ADDED or CREATED in April. 
  • 192,000 MORE people employed.
  • 252,000 FEWER people employed full-time. 
  • 437,000 MORE people employed part-time.
  • 125,000 FEWER people employed part-time involuntarily.  (In other words, people who want full-time work but can only find part-time work.)  This number has generally been going down, even when the total number of people working part-time has increased.  This means that, of people working part-time, more are working part-time by choice.  In the past year, the number of people employed part-time involuntarily has decreased by 880,000.
  • 26,000 FEWER people unemployed.
  • Unemployment rate decreased slightly to 5.4%.  This was actually a very small decline, from 5.47% down to 5.44%.
  • The alternate unemployment rate decreased to 10.9% from 10.8%. 
  • 166,000 MORE people in the civilian labor force (people either working or looking for work).  What happened to the labor force in April?  Continue reading below...

In NET numbers, NO jobs were lost in April 2015. 

If there are jobs losses, that means that there are fewer new jobs, fewer people being hired, than people being fired or jobs being cut.  If there are jobs gains, that means that there are MORE new jobs, MORE people being hired, than people being fired or jobs being cut. 

Every month since September 2010, we have had more new jobs created than jobs lost.  This is the longest period of consecutive job growth since these records have been kept.

Did people leave the labor force in despair, discouragement, and misery?

The labor force in the United States is huge and volatile.  Millions of people enter and leave the labor force every month in the United States; you can find more specifics HERE. 

But here's what happened to people in April:

  • In March, there were 156,906,000 people in the civilian labor force.
  • 2,296,000 who were not in the labor force in March entered the labor force and started LOOKING FOR WORK in April.
  • 4,296,000 who were not in the labor force in March entered the labor force and started WORKING in April. 
  • Meanwhile, 2,132,000 people who had been looking for work in March STOPPED LOOKING FOR WORK and left the labor force in April.  This is the third lowest number of unemployed people who "dropped out" of the labor force since late 2008.  It is also the lowest number of unemployed people DROPPING OUT of the labor force in any April of the past 7 years. 
  • And 4,341,000 people who had been employed in March STOPPED WORKING (and were not looking for work) in April.  A big chunk of these people probably retired, though we don't know that for sure.  This is the highest number of employed people who stopped working and left the labor force in April since 2007.  
  • For every unemployed person who "gave up" for some reason and stopped looking for work and left the labor force, there were approximately TWO EMPLOYED people who left their jobs and left the labor force.
  • For every unemployed person who "gave up" for some reason and stopped looking for work, approximately THREE people entered the labor force and either started looking for work or started working.
  • These numbers, plus adjustments for relatively small numbers of people turning 16, people dying, people leaving or entering the country, resulted in a larger labor force of 157,072,000 in April.  This is the largest labor force that we have EVER had in any April  There are still about 1,652,000 more people in the labor force this April than a year ago.   

As usual, the numbers in any one month need to be taken with a grain of salt, as any movements in any one month are not necessarily trends.

However, we have now had 62 consecutive months of private sector job creation, a record as long as such numbers have been kept.   And we have now had 55 consecutive months of total job creation, a record as long as such numbers have been kept. 

But how many jobs were LOST in April?

All jobs numbers reported monthly by Bureau of Labor Statistics are NET jobs numbers.  In other words, they represent the number of jobs gained (newly created jobs) after all job losses are subtracted.  If there are job gains, that means that there are more new jobs, more people being hired, than people being fired or jobs being cut. 

The more specific numbers of new hires and number of jobs cut are detailed in the monthly Job Openings, Layoffs, and Turnover Survey (JOLTS) which is published about six weeks after the monthly jobs reports.  This link "How Many People were fired in 2014?" provides a more in-depth explanation of how many people lose their jobs and how many people get new jobs every month.  For example, in 2014 over 55,000 people were fired or laid off on average each DAY... but an average of 160,000 people were HIRED each DAY in 2014.

To Summarize:  

In summary, there are more newly-created payroll jobs and more people employed in April, more newly-created jobs than in March, and about as many new jobs as were predicted.  There was a big jump in the number of employed people, but the number of people working full-time declined.  The number of people working part-time by choice increased; the number of people working part-time involuntarily decreased.  

The unemployment rate stayed virtually the same as the number of unemployed people decreased slightly and the number of employed people increased. 

Friday, May 8, 2015

What Was the Unemployment rate when Obama took office (compared to now)? Updated for April 2015

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

(Unemployment rate then and now on the graph below.)

This report has been updated HERE for June 2015.

June 2015 numbers were released Thursday, July 2.
Details HERE. 
June: +223,000 jobs, Unemp. Rate down to 5.3%.


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 the unemployment rate now?  Today's unemployment rate (April 2015's)?   5.4%  

All Latest Jobs and Unemployment Reports HERE

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?

Please read below the graph.

The following chart shows the unemployment rate in three month intervals plus the last three months:

Why are there two lines, one for "Seas Adjusted" and one for "Unadjusted" in the chart above?  This is explained at the bottom of the article.
  • What Caused the Rise in Unemployment When Obama Took Office?  Obama caused the unemployment rate to rise?  (Continue reading; the answer  is below the fold.)
  •  What Was the Unemployment Rate When Bush Took Office?  How high did it rise?  (The answer is also below the fold.)  

How Many Jobs Created or Lost Under Obama? (April 2015 update)

This report has been updated HERE.
The following report is outdated.

How many NET jobs created or lost under Obama* as of April 2015? How many private sector jobs have been lost or added during Obama's presidency?

How many new jobs in the last 6 years since Obama was inaugurated?  How many Americans were working or employed when Obama took office... compared to now?

Since the "trough" of the recession in late 2009/early 2010 in seasonally adjusted numbers:
  • 11,718,000 MORE payroll jobs in total
  • 12,287,000 MORE private sector jobs
  • 10,510,000 MORE people working (includes self-employed and agricultural workers)

How many workers were full-time or part-time at the "trough" of the recession in late 2009/early 2010 compared to now?

  • 10,213,000 MORE people working full-time.
  • 259,000 MORE people working part-time.  
  • (Yes, despite what you may have heard, from the depth of the recession until now, we have many more additional people working full-time vs. part-time jobs. When a recession hits, companies generally cut back on full-time workers first.  When companies start hiring again, the number of full-time workers increases.)

Since Bush left office & Obama took office (January 2009) in seasonally adjusted numbers:
  • 7,390,000 MORE jobs in total
  • 8,062,000 MORE private sector jobs
  • 6,371,000 MORE people working

How many workers were full-time or part-time when Obama was inaugurated compared to now?

  • 4,954,000 MORE people working full-time
  • 1,361,000 MORE people working part-time

Have any private jobs been lost (net) over the past 62 months since February 2010?

  • 62 months of consecutive private-sector job growth.
  • The longest consecutive period of private-sector job increases since this number has been recorded. 
  • ALL jobs losses since the recession (January 2008 was the prior peak of jobs) have been made up, added back, or recovered.

Have any jobs been lost (net) over the past 55 months since September 2010?

  • 55 months of consecutive overall job growth.

Are more people unemployed now than when Obama took office in January 2009?  

  • Despite 2,862,000 MORE people in the labor force (either working or actively looking for work) now vs. January 2009, there are 3,509,000 FEWER people unemployed now than in January 2009. 

*What's the difference between "net" and "gross" jobs gained and lost?How many jobs have been created in the last 6 years versus how many jobs have been 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 55 months in this country (as of April 2015), we have had MORE jobs being added than we have had jobs being cut.  For 62 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 6 years versus how many jobs 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 62 months (as of April 2015), 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.  This is the longest consecutive period of job growth since these numbers have been recorded.

Fact check and important information on these jobs numbers...

The above jobs numbers are from the BLS jobs report of April 2015, which was released in early May 2015.  The surveys used to gather these numbers are taken as of the week which includes the 12th day of the month, in this case, April 12, 2015. 

April 2015 Unemployment Rate, Jobs

May 2015 numbers to be released Friday, June 5.
Details HERE.
April 2015 numbers were released Friday, May 8.  Details HERE.  
April: +223,000 jobs, Unemp. Rate down slightly to 5.4%.

The pundits redeemed themselves this month.

The "pundits" expected 224,000 new jobs in April.. and they came very close with the BLS reporting 
223,000 new jobs with 213,000 of those jobs in the private sector.  The March numbers, however, were lower than initially reported, as the 126,000 new jobs mentioned last month were reduced to only 85,000 new jobs.  Unemployment dipped to 5.4% (from 5.5%). 

The "pundits" are also saying that the rebounding jobs numbers show that employers are confident enough, even after a bit of stagnation earlier in the year, to keep hiring.

My take: 

I felt that March's poor showing, in view of rock bottom initial unemployment claims and high numbers of job openings in early 2015, might have been attributable to employers actually
 having a harder time filling positions in February and into March:  It was colder and people may have stayed out of the winter job market a bit longer than usual. Remember that job numbers are reported as of the second week of the month, and it takes several weeks to get new hires on board.

It's possible that I was actually right about this, as unemployment claims continue to be very low and we did see an uptick in labor participation this month.  As usual, one month up or down does NOT make a trend, and we will all have to wait and see.

Let's remember that we are STILL not where we want to be in terms of jobs.  We still have about 1.7 active jobseekers for every job opening out there compared to 1.1 active jobseekers per job opening in December 2000.  This is one of the reasons that so many people still feel they are hurting in this economy.  The labor market just did not do that well in the early 2000's and we're still trying to make up for that.     

April 2015 Highlights (Specific reports listed below):
  • +223,000 total new payroll jobs; +213,000 new private sector jobs.  These increases are very close to projections of +224,000 jobs in April.
  • The BLS decreased its March estimates from +126,000 jobs down to +85,000 jobs.
  • The unemployment rate ticked down to 5.4% as the number of unemployed declined slightly.
  • Alternate unemployment rate fell from 10.9% down to 10.8%.  
  • Labor force participation rate edged up by .1% as the number of people in the labor force increased by 166,000. The self-reported number of people employed (which includes farm workers and the self-employed) increased by 192,000 in April.
  • Number of people working full-time decreased by about 252,000 while number of people working part-time increased by about 437,000.  Despite this month's decrease in full-time workers, there are still 2,314,000 MORE people working full-time over the past year, since April 2014, and 487,000 MORE people working part-time over the past year. 
  • The number of involuntary part-time workers (people working part-time because they couldn't find full-time work) decreased by 125,000 in April.  This number has declined 880,000 over the past year, since April 2014.  This also means that this month's increase in part-time workers was due to VOLUNTARY part-time workers; that is, people who PREFERRED to work part-time.
  • The number of long-term unemployed (people looking for work over half a year) dropped by 125,000 in April, and has dropped 880,000 over the past year, since April 2014.

Since the "trough" of the recession in late 2009/early 2010 in seasonally adjusted numbers:
  • 11.7 million MORE jobs in total
  • 12.3 million MORE private sector jobs
  • 10.5 million MORE people working
  • 10.2 million MORE people working full-time.
  • 259,000 MORE people working part-time.  
  • (Yes, despite what you may have heard, from the depth of the recession until now, we have many more additional people working full-time vs. part-time jobs. When a recession hits, companies generally cut back on full-time workers first.  When companies start hiring again, the number of full-time workers increases.)
Since Bush left office & Obama took office (January 2009) in seasonally adjusted numbers:
  • 7.4 million MORE jobs in total
  • 8.1 million MORE private sector jobs
  • 6.4 million MORE people working
  • 5.0 million MORE people working full-time
  • 1.4 million MORE people working part-time
April 2015 reports: (Notation on the links will be changed to "UPDATED for APRIL" when the updated reports become available.) 

The good, the bad, the ugly-- This was my preview of Friday's jobs numbers written Thursday before the numbers were released:

"The pundits" expect about 
224,000 more jobs when the BLS counts are released tomorrow (Friday) morning at 8:30 a.m., with the unemployment rate falling by a tenth of a percent to 5.4%.  If there are many more jobs but the unemployment rate stays the same or goes up a tenth, this would be a good indication that more people have entered the labor force in April.  The outlook for jobs continues to be bullish, but the two consumer confidence calculators come up with completely different outlooks.  Other than that, unemployment claims, both new claims and continuing claims, are VERY VERY low, lower than they have been for 15 years.     
  • The ADP private payroller report came out yesterday which estimated an additional 169,000 private sector jobs in April.  Estimates for March were decreased from 189,000 to 175,000.  According to ADP's estimates, this was the second month in a row that the US has added fewer than 200,000 private sector jobs.  (ADP has tended to underestimate private job growth when the report is released, and initial estimates have been revised upwards 9 out of the past 12 months.)

    Comments from ADP:

    "April job gains came in under 200,000 for the second straight month,” said Carlos Rodriguez, president and chief executive officer of ADP. “Companies with 500 or more employees had the slowest growth.” Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics, said, “Fallout from the collapse of oil prices and the surging value of the dollar are weighing on job creation. Employment in the energy sector and manufacturing is declining. However, this should prove temporary and job growth will reaccelerate this summer."
  • "A Reuters survey of economists forecast nonfarm payrolls increased 224,000 in April after gaining 126,000 in March, when hiring was held back by bad weather.
    Expectations for a relatively strong employment report were also bolstered by a separate report showing small businesses increased hiring last month."
  • Bloomberg writes:  "Focus is on tomorrow’s monthly payrolls data, in which economists predict nonfarm payrolls rose 245,000 in March, down from February’s 295,000 with no change to the 5.5 percent unemployment rate, the lowest since 2008. Wage growth is also forecast to be little changed."
  • The Consumer Confidence Index of the Conference Board  "retreated" in April:
    " The Index now stands at 95.2 (1985=100), down from 101.4 in March. Both the "Expectations Index" and the "Present Situation Index"  decreased in April.
    “This month’s retreat was prompted by a softening in current conditions, likely sparked by the recent lackluster performance of the labor market, and apprehension about the short-term outlook. The Present Situation Index declined for the third consecutive month. Coupled with waning expectations, there is little to suggest that economic momentum will pick up in the months ahead.”
  • However, the Consumer Sentiment index for April compiled by the University of Michigan  showed just the opposite; it jumped to 95.9 from the March reading of 93.  The Michigan people say: "Consumer Sentiment in April was at its second highest level since 2007, and recorded a higher average level during the last five months than anytime since May 2004. Consumer optimism has become increasingly dependent on the persistence of low inflation and low interest rates as well as slowly improving prospects for jobs and incomes. While nearly two-thirds of all consumers anticipate rising interest rates during the year ahead, they anticipate very minimal increases. Indeed, consumers must judge the negative impact of higher interest rates to be easily offset by the positive impact of expanding jobs and incomes." People are increasingly comfortable with the direction in which the economy is headed.
    So take your pick; people are either concerned or they think things are going well.  Whatever.
  • Job search engine was somewhat higher than the other estimates.  Linkup projected a net gain of 275,000 jobs in April.  (They base their projections largely on job openings.)  They also said:
    For the 3rd month in a row beginning in January, new and total job listings on LinkUp’s job search engine rose more than 10% in March, indicating that labor demand continues to strengthen and Friday’s jobs report for April should come in above consensus estimates. - And finally, job duration ticked up a bit to 48 days in April, most likely due to rising labor demand and the challenge employers are beginning to feel in filling openings."
  • Finally, the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits is very, very low. Reuters summarizes: 
    "The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits held near a 15-year low last week in a sign that the labour market was strengthening despite moderate economic growth.
    Initial claims for state unemployment benefits rose 3,000 to a seasonally adjusted 265,000 for the week ended May 2, the Labor Department said on Thursday. That was well below the increase to 280,000 that economists had forecast.
    Claims for the prior week were unrevised at 262,000, which was the lowest reading since April 2000. The sustained strength suggests March's sharp step down in job growth was likely an aberration, and could keep the Federal Reserve on track to raise interest rates this year."