Friday, December 04, 2009

Seasonal Retail Hiring, Employment-Population Ratio, Part Time Workers

by Bill McBride on 12/04/2009 09:24:00 AM

Here are a few more graphs based on the employment report ...

Seasonal Retail Hiring

Retailers are hiring seasonal workers at slightly above the pace of last year ...

Seasonal Retail Hiring Typically retail companies start hiring for the holiday season in October, and really increase hiring in November. Here is a graph that shows the historical net retail jobs added for October, November and December by year.

This really shows the collapse in retail hiring in 2008.

Retailers only hired 54.2 thousand workers (NSA) net in October. This is essentially the same as in 2008 (59.1 thousand NSA). However retailers hired 321.3 thousand workers in November (NSA), an increase from the 233.7 thousand last year. This suggests retailers are a little more optimistic than last year.

Employment-Population Ratio

Employment Population Ratio Click on graph for larger image in new window.

This graph shows the employment-population ratio; this is the ratio of employed Americans to the adult population.

Note: the graph doesn't start at zero to better show the change.

The general upward trend from the early '60s was mostly due to women entering the workforce.

This measure was flat at 58.5% in November; this is the lowest level since the early '80s.

The Labor Force Participation Rate fell to 65.0% (the percentage of the working age population in the labor force). This is the lowest since the mid-80s.

When the job market starts to recover, many of these people will reenter the workforce and look for employment - and that will keep the unemployment rate elevated for some time.

Part Time for Economic Reasons

From the BLS report:

The number of people working part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) was little changed in November at 9.2 million. These individuals were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job.
Part Time WorkersThe number of workers only able to find part time jobs (or have had their hours cut for economic reasons) declined slightly to 9.246 million.

The all time record was set last month.

Earlier employment post today:
  • Employment Report: 11K Jobs Lost, 10% Unemployment Rate for graphs of unemployment rate and a comparison to previous recessions.

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