unemployment rate

Unemployment 9.7% for May 2010

The May 2010 monthly unemployment figures are out. The rate decreased to 9.7% and the number of jobs gained is 431,000. 411,000 of those jobs were temporary Census workers. Only 41,000 private sector jobs were added. The official unemployment rate dropped due to the temporary Census hiring and people plain fell off the count.

Total nonfarm payroll employment grew by 431,000 in May, reflecting the hiring of 411,000 temporary employees to work on Census 2010. Private-sector employment changed little (+41,000). The unemployment rate edged down to 9.7 percent



Below is the nonfarm payroll, seasonally adjusted:


Unemployment 9.9% for April 2010

The April 2010 monthly unemployment figures are out. The rate increased to 9.9% and the number of jobs gained is 290,000. How the rate can increase when the U.S. gained that many jobs will be answered below.

Nonfarm payroll employment rose by 290,000 in April, the unemployment rate edged up to 9.9 percent



Below is the nonfarm payroll, seasonally adjusted:



Underemployment hits 20%

Many people are probably not aware that the BLS isn't the only agency that makes surveys of unemployment levels. Gallup does too, and today it released a new report.

Gallup's underemployment measure hit 20.0% on March 15 -- up from 19.7% two weeks earlier and 19.5% at the start of the year...
Gallup classifies Americans as underemployed if they are unemployed or working part-time but wanting full-time work. On March 15, Gallup's unemployment rate was 10.3% -- essentially the same as the 10.4% of March 1, but down from 10.8% in mid-February. However, this decline in the percentage of unemployed Americans was more than offset over the past 30 days by an increase in the percentage of those working part-time but wanting full-time work, from 9.0% in mid-February to 9.7% in mid-March.

Unemployment 9.7% for January 2010

The much awaited January unemployment report is released and from the headlines, one would think this is great. It's not.

The reason is the U.S. lost another 20,000 jobs. The employment-population ratio rose from 58.2 to 58.4 percent. This means while the ratio of the employed to unemployed improved, it is in part because there are more people added to the general population who are not being counted in the potential workforce or inversely, a decrease in the overall civilian workforce, which causes the ratio to increase.

Below are the total non-farm payrolls. The first is the raw numbers and the second is in percent change from the previous months report. In nonfarm payrolls one can see the real job losses that are still occurring this recession.

Unemployment at highest level since Great Depression

The official number is still slightly lower than the brutal winter of 1982-83. But the broad unemployment number says otherwise.

For all the pain caused by the Great Recession, the job market still was not in as bad shape as it had been during the depths of the early 1980s recession — until now.
With the release of the jobs report on Friday, the broadest measure of unemployment and underemployment tracked by the Labor Department has reached its highest level in decades. If statistics went back so far, the measure would almost certainly be at its highest level since the Great Depression.
In all, more than one out of every six workers — 17.5 percent — were unemployed or underemployed in October. The previous recorded high was 17.1 percent, in December 1982.