Posts Tagged ‘BLS’

October Employment Numbers

November 8, 2014

October Employment Numbers

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has released the jobless numbers for October 2014. There’s good news, not-so-good news, and bad news.

Good news: The official unemployment rate is:5.8%214,000 new jobs were added to the workforce last month, 2.3 million so far this year.

Not-So-Good News: The real unemployment rate is 11.1% (U6, includes people who no longer get unemployment benefits, need work but have stopped looking because it’s futile, or have only found part-time work). Learn more here.

Bad News: Wages for those new jobs are low. Very low, down where they were in 2009. And 2.9 million people have been out of work for half a year or more.

The economy may suck for working people, but Wall Street is doing just fine, thank you.

More:

“America’s dual economy,” Heather Long and Patrick Gillespie, CNN Money

“American workers are still waiting for their raise,” Matthew Yglesias, Vox

“Job Growth Is Picking Up. But What About All the Sidelined Workers?” Josh Bivens, Wall Street Journal blog

“Black Unemployment Falls to 10.9 Percent,” Joyce Jones, BET News

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165,000 New Jobs In April. Maybe.

May 5, 2013

165,000 New Jobs in April. Maybe.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics announced employment figures for April 2013: 165,000 new jobs. No one knows exactly what that means, but one thing is certain: This number will certainly change. Does that indicate government ineptitude or political manipulation? No.

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Low Unemployment Rate, But Low Job Numbers

April 6, 2013

Low UnemploymentRate, But Low Job Numbers

U.S. jobs grew by only 88,000 in March, less than half of recent monthly job increases, yet the unemployment rate was the lowest in four years, 7.6 percent. How come? People stopped looking, went back to school, or were otherwise no longer counted as unemployed. Was job growth a victim of austerity anticipation? Opinions differ.

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Jack Welch Quits, Raising Jobless Numbers

October 10, 2012

Jack Welch Quits, Raising Jobless Numbers

Jack Welch is sticking to his conspiracy theory, no matter how much it’s debunked and ridiculed . The Bureau of Labor Statistics, he says, that bunch of technocrats long trusted by Wall Street, an outfit without political appointees, cooked the books and fiddled the September employment figures to give President Obama’s re-election campaign a mild boost. They must be lousy cooks, though, since the drop in joblessness was a measly fraction of one percent. Mr. Welch was much better at this kind of thing when he “managed earnings” as CEO of GE.

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Jobs Report: Unemployment Down, Conspiracy Theories Up

October 7, 2012

Jobs Report: Unemployment Down, Conspiracy Theories Up

The US unemployment rate dropped to 7.8 percent in September, its lowest level in 44 months. Employers added 114,000 workers to payrolls last month, and 86,000 more jobs were created in July and August than previously thought. There’s a great chart here for you visual learners. As economic news, this is only mildly encouraging; as political news it’s better for the Obama campaign than for Mr. Romney.

The Republicans responded to these facts the way they usually do, with conspiracy theories. This time the lunatic accuser wasn’t Herman Cain Michele Bachmann, or Donald Trump. This time it was former General Electric CEO Jack Welch, who claimed that the Bureau of Labor Statistics manipulated the figures, the kind of thing Mr. Welch did at GE. The BLS isn’t GE, though.

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200,000 New Jobs in December, But This Is January.

January 7, 2012

200,000 New Jobs in December, But This Is January.

The December 2011 employment figures are out, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that last month saw an increase of 200,000 new jobs.  At that rate it will be a mere 65 months before we get to full employment.

The BLS adjusts these statistics to account for seasonal variations so that temporary holiday jobs — evergreen salesmen, reindeer renters, maids-a-milking, department store Santas  — don’t distort the figures.  Some analysts aren’t sure the Bureau understands our 21st century retail supply chain, where orders on the InterWebz make temporary work for thousands of migratory warehouse gypsies and delivery drivers. Stay tuned for next month’s job numbers.

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(un)Employment News

March 4, 2011

 (un)Employment News

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has released the jobless numbers for Febuary 2011. This is a regular monthly exercise in statistical flim-flam, and the BLS knows it.

The meaningless unemployment rate in the headlines: 8.9%. The real unemployment rate: 15.9% (includes people who no longer get unemployment benefits, need work but have stopped looking because it’s futile, or have only found part-time work). Learn more here.

 Mike Konczal explains the bottom line: “Unemployment Is Dropping as Workers Keep Dropping Out.”

 

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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(un)Employment News

January 7, 2011

 (un)Employment News

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has released the jobless numbers for December 2010. This is a regular monthly exercise in statistical flim-flam, and the BLS knows it.

The meaningless unemployment rate in the headlines: 9.4%. The real unemployment rate: 16.7% (includes people who no longer get unemployment benefits, need work but have stopped looking because it’s futile, or have only found part-time work). Learn more here.

 

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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The Other Christmas List: Unemployment Rate

December 3, 2010

The Other Christmas List: Unemployment Rate

As we approach the holiday season, many Americans are out of work. It doesn’t matter if they’ve been naughty or nice. The meaningless unemployment rate in the headlines: 9.8%. The real unemployment rate: 17% (includes people who no longer get unemployment benefits, need work but have stopped looking because it’s futile, or have only found part-time work).

Congress put coal in the well-darned Christmas stockings of many unemployed Americans. It failed to extend jobless benefits.

Happy Holidays.

Image (“Santa Got Laid Off!”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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“Barista” Banned by Finicky Feds

September 30, 2009

 

The Standard Occupational Classification Policy Committee of the Bureau of Labor Statistics has nixed the word “Barista:”

“(part I) Docket No. 08-1081 requested adding “barista” as an illustrative example for 35-3022 Counter Attendants, Cafeteria, Food Concession, and Coffee Shop. The SOCPC did not accept this recommendation. Depending on the work performed, baristas can be classified in more than one occupation, including 35-2021 Food Preparation Workers, 35-3021 Combined Food Preparation and Serving Workers, Fast Food, and 35-3022 Counter Attendants, Cafeteria, Food Concession, and Coffee Shop. The SOCPC recommended classifying workers who perform duties combining preparation and serving of non-alcoholic beverages in 35-3021 Combined Food Preparation and Serving Workers, Including Fast Food, and modifying the definition to clarify their inclusion.”

That sounds suspiciously like the prose of confirmed tea drinkers.

In any case, the Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) is merely used by government agencies that collect and publish occupational data at the Federal level.

The late William Safire noted the word’s arrival in the 11th edition of the Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary in 2003:

“Waitrons (nope; that overly nonsexist term never made it) will be happy to see barista, ‘a person who makes and serves coffee (as espresso) to the public.'”

The Urban Dictionary claims the term is derived from the Italian for “I was an Art History major.”

Frankly, we’re partial to the term “Java-Jockey” ourselves.

 

Image (“Neo-Nighthawks, after Edward Hopper”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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