Friday, September 04, 2009

Employment Report: 216K Jobs Lost, 9.7% Unemployment Rate

by Bill McBride on 9/04/2009 08:30:00 AM

From the BLS:

Nonfarm payroll employment continued to decline in August (-216,000), and the unemployment rate rose to 9.7 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Although job losses continued in many of the major industry sectors in August, the declines have moderated in recent months.
Employment Measures and Recessions Click on graph for larger image.

This graph shows the unemployment rate and the year over year change in employment vs. recessions.

Nonfarm payrolls decreased by 216,000 in August. The economy has lost almost 5.83 million jobs over the last year, and 6.93 million jobs during the 20 consecutive months of job losses.

The unemployment rate increased to 9.7 percent. This is the highest unemployment rate in 26 years.

Year over year employment is strongly negative.

Percent Job Losses During Recessions The second graph shows the job losses from the start of the employment recession, in percentage terms (as opposed to the number of jobs lost).

For the current recession, employment peaked in December 2007, and this recession was a slow starter (in terms of job losses and declines in GDP).

However job losses have really picked up over the last year, and the current recession is now the 2nd worst recession since WWII in percentage terms (and the 1948 recession recovered very quickly) - and also in terms of the unemployment rate (only early '80s recession was worse).

The economy is still losing jobs at about a 2.6 million annual rate, and the unemployment rate will probably be above 10% soon. This is still a weak employment report - just not as bad as earlier this year. Much more to come ...

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