Archive for the ‘Unemployment Rate – Jobless’ Category

The real unemployment rate is 11.1% (not 8.1%) if you use the size of the work force as it was in 2009

When will Romney start using these numbers in his speeches?

Since Obama took office, the workforce has shrunk to its lowest level in 30 years.

Hey, if no one is looking for a job because there are no jobs, we can have a 0% unemployment rate. Maybe this is the Obama economic plan.

JAMES PETHOKOUKIS: If the size of the U.S. labor force as a share of the total population was the same as it was when Barack Obama took office—65.7% then vs. 63.6% today—the U-3 unemployment rate would be 11.1%.

Now, this doesn’t take into account the aging of the Baby Boomers, which should lower the participation due to rising retirements. But is that still a valid assumption given the drop in wealth since 2006?

If you take into account the aging of the Baby Boomers, the participation rate should be trending lower. Indeed, it has been doing just that since 2000. Before the Great Recession, the Congressional Budget Office predicted what the partipation rate would be in 2012, assuming such demographic changes. Using that number, the real unemployment rate would be 10.7%.

If the participation rate just stayed where it was last month, the unemployment rate would have risen to 8.4%.

Then there’s the broader, U-6 measure of unemployment which includes the discouraged plus part-timers who wish they had full time work. That unemployment rate, perhaps the truest measure of the labor market’s health, is still a sky-high 14.5%.

The employment-population ratio dipped to 58.4% vs. 61% in December 2008. An historically and alarmingly low level of the U.S. population is actually working.

And given that real disposable income has been flat the past two years, it stands to reason that many of the jobs being created are in low-wage sectors. Indeed, hiring in sectors such as retail and leisure has accounted for a whopping 40 percent of the jobs added over the past two years.

The labor market remains in sad shape—despite Obama White House claims that it’s “continuing to heal”—and it is unlikely to improve much if the economy continues to grow around 2% or so.

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DOUBLE-DIP? Unemployment rate drops from 8.2 to 8.1 percent because more people left the work force

Workforce participation rate falls to lowest level since 1981. Just 115,000 new jobs added in April. Anemic.

Employers in the U.S. added fewer workers than forecast in April and the jobless rate unexpectedly declined as people left the labor force, underscoring concern the world’s largest economy may be losing speed.
Payrolls climbed 115,000, the smallest gain in six months, after a revised 154,000 rise in March that was more than initially estimated, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington. The median estimate of 85 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News called for a 160,000 advance. The jobless rate fell to a three-year low of 8.1 percent and earnings stagnated.

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FUZZY OBAMA MATH: Real Unemployment Rate is 11% by 2007 standard. Economy is getting worse, not better.

PETER FERRARA-FORBES: When Barack Obama entered office in January, 2009, the labor force participation rate was 65.7%, meaning nearly two-thirds of working age Americans were working or looking for work.

When the recession supposedly officially ended in June, 2009, the labor force participation rate was still 65.7%.

In the latest, much celebrated, unemployment report, the labor force participation rate had plummeted to 63.7%, the most rapid decline in U.S. history. That means that under President Obama nearly 5 million Americans have fled the workforce in hopeless despair.

The trick is that when those 5 million are not counted as in the work force, they are not counted as unemployed either. They may desperately need and want jobs. They may be in poverty, as many undoubtedly are, with America suffering today more people in poverty than in the entire half century the Census Bureau has been counting poverty. But they are not even counted in that 8.3% unemployment rate that Obama and his media cheerleaders were so tirelessly celebrating last week.

If they were counted, the unemployment rate today would be a far more realistic 11%, better reflecting the suffering in the real economy under Obamanomics.

Just last month, while the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported finding 243,000 new jobs, they also reported in the same release that an additional 1.2 million workers had dropped out of the work force altogether, giving up hope under Obama. If labor force participation had remained the same in January, 2012 just as it was the month before in December, 2011, the unemployment rate would have risen to 8.7% in January rather than supposedly declining to 8.3% as reported.

Some additional facts highlight how misleading the reported unemployment rate, and the political rhetoric around it, can be. One year ago, 99 million Americans were unemployed or otherwise not working, and the unemployment rate was 9.1%. Today, while the reported unemployment rate is 8.3%, over 100 million Americans are unemployed or otherwise not working.

In January, 2009, 11.6 million Americans were unemployed, with 23% of those unemployed for more than 6 months. By January, 2012, 12.8 million were unemployed, with 43% of those out of work more than 6 months.

At the official end of the recession in June, 2009, America was 12.6 million jobs short of full employment. By January, 2012, we were 15.2 million jobs short, falling behind by another 244,000 in that month alone.

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WaPo: Real unemployment rate is 11 percent; not 8.6 percent

WASHINGTON POST: Typically, I try to tie the beginning of Wonkbook to the news. But today, the most important sentence isn’t a report on something that just happened, but a fresh look at something that’s been happening for the last three years. In particular, it’s this sentence by the Financial Times’ Ed Luce, who writes, “According to government statistics, if the same number of people were seeking work today as in 2007, the jobless rate would be 11 percent.”

Remember that the unemployment rate is not “how many people don’t have jobs?”, but “how many people don’t have jobs and are actively looking for them?” Let’s say you’ve been looking fruitlessly for five months and realize you’ve exhausted every job listing in your area. Discouraged, you stop looking, at least for the moment. According to the government, you’re no longer unemployed. Congratulations?

Since 2007, the percent of the population that either has a job or is actively looking for one has fallen from 62.7 percent to 58.5 percent. That’s millions of workers leaving the workforce, and it’s not because they’ve become sick or old or infirm. It’s because they can’t find a job, and so they’ve stopped trying. That’s where Luce’s calculation comes from. If 62.7 percent of the country was still counted as in the workforce, unemployment would be 11 percent. In that sense, the real unemployment rate — the apples-to-apples unemployment rate — is probably 11 percent. And the real un- and underemployed rate — the so-called “U6″ — is near 20 percent.

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Economy Wobbles. Just 80,000 jobs added in September. 9.0 percent unemployment rate.

CNBC: The U.S. jobs market remained stuck in neutral during October, with the economy creating just 80,000 new jobs as the stubbornly high unemployment rate nudged lower.

Amid few expectations that the employment picture has improved, government numbers Friday confirmed the obvious: The unemployment rate is stuck at 9.0 percent where it likely will be for many months to come.

The report comes just days after the Federal Reserve delivered its own body blow, saying the unemployment rate will go no lower than 8.5 percent to 8.7 percent by the end of 2012 and will remain in the 6.8 percent to 7.7 percent through 2014.

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Obama keeps saying GOP blocking his so-called Jobs Bill, even though it’s Reid and Dems who are blocking it

WEEKLY STANDARD: The Obama campaign sent out an email today asking supporters to urge Congress to at least vote on the president’s jobs bill almost immediately after Democratic majority leader Harry Reid blocked a vote on the bill in the Senate.

On the Senate floor today, Republican leader Mitch McConnell asked for unanimous consent to proceed on voting on the bill. Reid, who has struggled to find enough votes for the bill in the Democratic caucus, objected to the motion and killed the opportunity for a vote.

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Why Obama’s new jobs created figures are always revised downward later, never upward

JOHN CRUDELE-NEW YORK POST: It’s confession time for the Department of Labor.

This Thursday at precisely 8:30 a.m., Washington will tell us how wrong it has been in calculating new jobs in this country. And, if recent history is any guide, the number could be large.

Officially, what’s coming is called the Current Employment Statistics Preliminary Benchmark Revision. As you can see, snappy titles aren’t the department’s strong suit — so let’s just call it The Truth.
Here’s what happens:

Each month the Labor Department puts out the number of new jobs it thinks were created by American companies.

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Oops! Obama touts Jobs Bill at bridge that won’t qualify. Workers would not have been hired until 2015.

LA TIMES: You know all those rusting bridges that President Obama wants to spend billions more dollars repairing to allegedly stimulate the economy?

He’s headed out to one today which he’s described as a “bridge that needs repair between Ohio and Kentucky that’s on one of the busiest trucking routes in North America.” It is on a busy trucking route, spanning the Ohio River between Covington, Ky., and Cincinnati.

It’s the Brent Spence Bridge. It doesn’t really need repairs. It’s got decades of good life left in its steel spans. It’s just overloaded. The bridge was built to handle 85,000 cars and trucks a day, which seemed like a lot back during construction in the Nixon era.

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Oh, the incompetence

CINCINATI.COM: A presidential visit is a big deal, but will it actually guarantee funding for the aged and overused Brent Spence Bridge?

Not really, say transportation experts and highway officials.

That’s not how highway funding works. When you consider the partisan bickering over the president’s jobs bill and the stalled federal transportation bill, the bridge looks no closer to getting the $2.4 billion needed to replace it than before it caught the White House’s attention.

First, there’s the president’s jobs bill, which is the reason for his trip. In his joint address to Congress on Sept. 8, Obama called on Congress to immediately pass his plan. But the bill has received a lukewarm reception on the Hill, where even Democrats haven’t rallied around it.

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Weekly new jobless claims top 400,000 again

BLOOMBERG: More Americans than forecast filed first-time claims for unemployment insurance payments last week as the labor market struggled to improve.

Applications for jobless benefits decreased 9,000 in the week ended Sept. 17 to 423,000, Labor Department figures showed today. Economists forecast 420,000 claims, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey. The average number of claims in the past month rose for a fifth straight week, to the highest level since July 16.

An elevated level of dismissals raises the odds U.S. companies may put off plans to increase employment, making it difficult for joblessness to fall below 9 percent. Citing ongoing weakness in the labor market, Federal Reserve policy makers announced yesterday they would use another unconventional monetary tool to spur economic growth and job gains.

“These numbers are consistent with a job market that is essentially in suspended animation,” said Brian Jones, an economist Societe Generale in New York, who correctly forecast the level of claims. “Anything that the Fed does to help the economy should help the labor market, but it takes time. We’ve got to see job growth before we can get more demand.”

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Bill Clinton says no new taxes

POLITICO: Former President Bill Clinton says now is not the time to hike taxes.

“I personally don’t believe we ought to be raising taxes or cutting spending, either one, until we get this economy off the ground,” Clinton told Newsmax in an interview Tuesday. “This has been a dead flat economy.”

Clinton, who is hosting the Clinton Global Initiative’s annual meeting in New York City this week, said that until the country’s debt is reduced, he doesn’t believe cutting or raising taxes or boosting spending are the solution to bringing the country to a full employment economy.

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