Posts Tagged ‘unemployment rate’

The Real Unemployment Rate.

October 21, 2020

The Real Unemployment Rate.

The U.S. Unemployment Rate is measured by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, an arm of the U.S. Deparment of Labor, but BLS recognizes several joblessness measures. The one you read in the media is called U3, the percentage of unemployed civilian adults actively seeking fulltime nonfarm employment. Right now, the U3 rate is 7.9%. A broader measure, U6, includes those working part-time because they can’t find full-time jobs and people who want to work and have looked for jobs anytime in the past year. The latest U6 jobless rate is 12.8%.

But those aren’t the only — or most realistic — measures of unemployment. The Ludwig Institute for Shared Economic Prosperity, founded by Gene Ludwig, former U.S. Comptroller of the Currency, has a yardstick for U.S. functional unemployment, and it’s unnerving:

“A person who is looking for a full-time job that pays a living wage — but who can’t find one — is unemployed. If you accept that definition, the true unemployment rate in the U.S. is a stunning 26.1% ….”

“If you measure the unemployed as anybody over 16 years old who isn’t earning a living wage, the rate rises even further, to 54.6%. For Black Americans, it’s 59.2%.”

“Only 46.1% of white Americans over the age of 16 — and a mere 40.8% of Black Americans — now have a full-time job paying more than $20,000 per year.”

— “America’s true unemployment rate,” Felix Salmon, Axios

More:

Ludwig Institute for Shared Economic Prosperity (LISEP) website

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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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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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(un)Employment Report

December 5, 2011

(un)Employment Report

In a regular monthly exercise in statistical flim-flam, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has released the jobless numbers for November 2011.

The meaningless unemployment rate in the headlines: 8.6%, down a whopping 0.4% from last month. The real unemployment rate: 15.6% (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). Some even put that real rate at 18.8. Learn more here.

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(un)Employment Report

November 6, 2011

(un)Employment Report

In a regular monthly exercise in statistical flim-flam, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has released the jobless numbers for October 2011.

The meaningless unemployment rate in the headlines: 9% , down a whopping 0.1%. 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). Learn more here.

There was a net gain of 80,000 jobs in the past month, not all of them at McDonald’s (some were at Wendy’s). At that rate, all of America’s 13.9 million unemployed should be working by about 2030.

Related:

“Most unemployed Americans are no longer receiving unemployment benefits,” Christopher S. Rugaber, AP via New York Daily News

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Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

(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

July 8, 2011

(un)Employment News

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has released the jobless numbers for June 2011.  Observers expected 100,000 new jobs; only 18,000 were created. 25,000 state and local government workers were laid off.  6.3 million Americans have been unemployed for 27 weeks or longer.

The official unemployment rate, the one in the headlines, is 9.2%. 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). Learn more here.

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

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length

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(un)Employment News

May 9, 2011

(un)Employment News

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

The meaningless unemployment rate in the headlines: 9% (up from 8.9%). The real unemployment rate: 16.6% (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.

There was a net gain of 200,000 jobs in the past month, not all of them at McDonald’s (some were at Wendy’s). At that rate, all of America’s 13 million unemployed should be working by about 2016.

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

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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