Sunday, April 03, 2011

Duration of Unemployment, Unemployment by Education, Employment Diffusion Indexes

by Calculated Risk on 4/03/2011 11:55:00 AM

By request, here are a few more employment graphs ...

Duration of Unemployment

Unemployment Duration Click on graph for larger image in graph gallery.

This graph shows the duration of unemployment as a percent of the civilian labor force. The graph shows the number of unemployed in four categories: less than 5 week, 6 to 14 weeks, 15 to 26 weeks, and 27 weeks or more.

In general, all four categories are trending down. The less than 5 week category appears to be back to normal (fits with the initial weekly claims data).

Unfortunately the "27 weeks or more" category increased slightly in March to 6.122 million workers (about 4% of the labor force). This remains extremely high, and long term unemployment remains a serious problem.

Unemployment by Education

Unemployment by Level of EducationThis graph shows the unemployment rate by four levels of education (all groups are 25 years and older).

This data only goes back to 1992 and only includes one previous recession (the stock / tech bust in 2001). Clearly education matters with regards to the unemployment rate - and it appears all four groups are now trending down with some month-to-month volatility - although the unemployment rate for the college educated has increased two months in a row.

Diffusion Indexes

Employment Diffusion Index This is a little more technical. The BLS diffusion index for total private employment was at 62.4 in March, down from 68.7 in February. For manufacturing, the diffusion index decreased to 63.0 from 66.0 in February.

Think of this as a measure of how widespread job gains are across industries. The further from 50 (above or below), the more widespread the job losses or gains reported by the BLS. From the BLS:
Figures are the percent of industries with employment increasing plus one-half of the industries with unchanged employment, where 50 percent indicates an equal balance between industries with increasing and decreasing employment.
Even though the diffusion indexes declined in March, the level of both indexes is still fairly high - so hiring is still fairly widespread.

Best to all

Summary for Week ending April 1st
Schedule for Week of April 3rd
• All employment graphs