Friday, January 07, 2011

December Employment Report: 103,000 Jobs, 9.4% Unemployment Rate

by Bill McBride on 1/07/2011 08:30:00 AM

From the BLS:

The unemployment rate fell by 0.4 percentage point to 9.4 percent in
December, and nonfarm payroll employment increased by 103,000, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.
Payroll for October payroll was revised up 38,000, and November was revised up 32,000 (total of 70,000). (edit)

The following graph shows the employment population ratio, the participation rate, and the unemployment rate.

Employment Pop Ratio, participation and unemployment rates Click on graph for larger image.

The unemployment rate decreased to 9.4% (red line).

The Labor Force Participation Rate declined to 64.3% in December (blue line). This is the lowest level since the early '80s. (This is the percentage of the working age population in the labor force. The participation rate is well below the 66% to 67% rate that was normal over the last 20 years.)

The Employment-Population ratio increased to 58.3% in December (black line).

Percent Job Losses During Recessions The second graph shows the job losses from the start of the employment recession, in percentage terms aligned at maximum job losses. The dotted line is ex-Census hiring.

For the current employment recession, employment peaked in December 2007, and this recession is by far the worst recession since WWII in percentage terms, and 2nd worst in terms of the unemployment rate (only the early '80s recession with a peak of 10.8 percent was worse).

This was slightly below expectations, although the upward revision to October and November were signficant. I'll have much more soon ...

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