Friday, March 05, 2010

Employment-Population Ratio, Part Time Workers, Unemployed over 26 Weeks

by Bill McBride on 3/05/2010 09:47:00 AM

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

Employment-Population Ratio

The Employment-Population ratio ticked up slightly to 58.5% in February, after plunging since the start of the recession. This is about the same level as in 1983.

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.

The Labor Force Participation Rate increased slightly to 64.8% (the percentage of the working age population in the labor force). This is at the level of the early 80s.

Part Time for Economic Reasons

Part Time WorkersFrom the BLS report:

The number of persons working part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) increased from 8.3 to 8.8 million in February, partially offsetting a large decrease in the prior month. These individuals were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job.
The number of workers only able to find part time jobs (or have had their hours cut for economic reasons) increased sharply to 8.8 million.

The all time record of 9.2 million was set in October. The increase this month might have been weather related.

Unemployed over 26 Weeks

Unemployed Over 26 Weeks The blue line is the number of workers unemployed for 27 weeks or more. The red line is the same data as a percent of the civilian workforce.

According to the BLS, there are 6.13 million workers who have been unemployed for more than 26 weeks (and still want a job). This is 4.0% of the civilian workforce, a slight decrease from the 6.3 million and 4.1% record set last month. (note: records started in 1948)

The number of long term unemployed is one of the key stories of this recession.

Overall there were some positives in the report: the unemployment rate was steady, and the employment-population ratio ticked up slightly (after plunging sharply). Although average hours worked decreased slightly, and part time workers increased - those were probably both impacted by the weather (usually hours worked is impacted more than the headline number by snow storms).

I'll have even more later ...

Earlier employment post today:
  • Employment Report: 36K Jobs Lost, 9.7% Unemployment Rate for graphs of unemployment rate and a comparison to previous recessions.

  • Last 10 Posts