Posts Tagged ‘Bureau of Labor Statistics’

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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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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Image (“Will Ho-Ho-Ho for Food”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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(un)Employment Report: No New Jobs

September 3, 2011

(un)Employment Report: No New Jobs

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has released the jobless numbers for August 2011.

The official unemployment rate, the one in the headlines, is 9.1%. The real unemployment rate: 16.2% (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). The official rate hasn’t changed from last month, the real rate has grown by a tenth of a percent. Learn more here.

45,000 jobs were temporarily lost in the Verizon strike, and those workers are back on the payroll this month, but the 17,000 government jobs eliminated last month are permanently gone. While 62,000 private sector jobs were added in August, this is no comfort to America’s 14 million unemployed.  More that 6 million of them have been out of work for over six months.

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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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“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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