Friday, June 07, 2013

Employment Report Comments and more Graphs

by Calculated Risk on 6/07/2013 10:30:00 AM

Total nonfarm employment is up 2.115 million over the 12 months, and up 946 thousand so far in 2013 (a 2.27 million annual pace).

Private employment is up 2.173 million over the last year, and up 972 thousand so far in 2013 (a 2.33 million annual pace).

Of course public payrolls are continuing to shrink (four years of declining public payrolls now).  Public employment is down 58 thousand over the last year, and down 26 thousand so far in 2013 (a 62 thousand annual pace).

And on construction employment: Construction employment is up 189 thousand over the last year, and up 93 thousand so far in 2013 (a 223 thousand annual pace).

A few more graphs ...

Employment-Population Ratio, 25 to 54 years old

Employment Population Ratio, 25 to 54Click on graph for larger image.

Since the participation rate declined recently due to cyclical (recession) and demographic (aging population) reasons, an important graph is the employment-population ratio for the key working age group: 25 to 54 years old.

In the earlier period the employment-population ratio for this group was trending up as women joined the labor force. The ratio has been mostly moving sideways since the early '90s, with ups and downs related to the business cycle.

This ratio should probably move close to 80% as the economy recovers. The ratio increased to  76.0% in May, the highest since April 2009.  The participation rate for this group also increased in May to 81.3%.  The decline in the participation rate for this age group is probably mostly due to economic weakness, whereas most of the decline in the overall participation rate is probably due to demographics.

Percent Job Losses During Recessions

Percent Job Losses During Recessions
This graph shows the job losses from the start of the employment recession, in percentage terms - this time aligned at maximum job losses.

In the earlier post, the graph showed the job losses aligned at the start of the employment recession.

This financial crisis recession was much deeper than other post WWII recessions, and the recovery has been slower (the recovery from the 2001 recession was slow too). However, if we compare to other financial crisis recoveries, this recovery has actually been better than most.

Part Time for Economic Reasons

Part Time WorkersFrom the BLS report:

In May, the number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) was unchanged at 7.9 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.
The number of part time workers decreased slightly in May to 7.904 million.

These workers are included in the alternate measure of labor underutilization (U-6) that decreased slightly to 13.8% in May. This matches the lowest level for U-6 since December 2008.

Unemployed over 26 Weeks

Unemployed Over 26 Weeks This graph shows the number of workers unemployed for 27 weeks or more.

According to the BLS, there are 4.357 million workers who have been unemployed for more than 26 weeks and still want a job. This was slightly from from 4.353 million in April. This is trending down, but is still very high.  Long term unemployment remains one of the key labor problems in the US.

State and Local Government

State and Local GovernmentThis graph shows total state and government payroll employment since January 2007. State and local governments lost jobs for four straight years. (Note: Scale doesn't start at zero to better show the change.)

In May 2013, state and local governments added 11,000 jobs, and state and local employment is up 25 thousand so far in 2013.

I think most of the state and local government layoffs are over.  Of course total public employment declined again as the Federal government layoffs are ongoing - and with many more layoffs expected due to the sequestration spending cuts.

In 2013, construction is a bright spot for employment, the drag from state and local cutbacks is mostly over - and Federal fiscal cutbacks are an ongoing drag. Pretty much as expected.