Monday, July 04, 2011

Some Employment Statistics

by Bill McBride on 7/04/2011 08:28:00 PM

Weekend:
Summary for Week Ending July 1st
Unofficial Problem Bank list at 1,003 Institutions and State Stress Level
Schedule for Week of July 3rd

The key report for this week will be the June employment situation report to be released on Friday.

The following table summarizes some of the grim labor statistics and compares the current situation (May 2011) with the employment situation when the recession started (December 2007).

Since December 2007, the U.S. working age civilian population has increased by 6.157 million people - however the number of people saying the are in the labor force has actually declined.

Total nonfarm payrolls are still 6.94 million below the December 2007 level, and private payrolls are 6.69 million lower.

Some of the decline in the labor force participation is due to an aging population, but these numbers suggest the U.S. needs 6.94 million jobs, plus some percent of the increase in the labor force, to get back to the 2007 employment situation.

On unemployment, perhaps the most staggering number is the 6.2 million workers who have been unemployed for 27 weeks or more.

Recoveries following a housing/credit bubble and financial crisis are usually sluggish - so these numbers are not a surprise - but this is a reminder that the top priorities for policymakers remains jobs, jobs and jobs.

Employment Statistics (Thousands or Percent)1
May-11Dec-07Change
Civilian noninstitutional population (16 and over)239,313233,1566,157
Civilian labor force153,693153,936-243
Total nonfarm Payroll131,043137,983-6,940
Private Payroll108,916115,606-6,690
Unemployment Rate9.1%5.0%4.1%
Unemployed13,9147,6646,250
Part-Time for Economic Reasons8,5484,6383,910
Marginally Attached to Labor Force22,2061,395811
Discouraged Workers2822363459
U-6 Unemployment rate315.8%8.8%7.0%
Unemployed for 27 Weeks & over6,2001,3274,873

1 The payroll numbers are from the Current Employment Statistics (establishment survey), and the remaining numbers are from the Current Population Survey (household survey).
2 BLS: "Discouraged workers are a subset of persons marginally attached to the labor force. The marginally attached are those persons not in the labor force who want and are available for work, and who have looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months, but were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey. Among the marginally attached, discouraged workers were not currently looking for work specifically because they believed no jobs were available for them or there were none for which they would qualify."
3 BLS: "Total unemployed, plus all marginally attached workers plus total employed part time for economic reasons, as a percent of all civilian labor force plus all marginally attached workers"