Skip to comments.A Decent but Underwhelming Jobs Report
Posted on 05/03/2014 12:37:28 PM PDT by Kaslin
The headlines from todays employment report certainly seem positive.
The unemployment rate has dropped to 6.3 percent and there are about 280,000 new jobs.*
But if you dig into the details of the latest numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, you find some less-than-exciting data.
First, here is the chart showing total employment over the past 10 years.
This shows a positive trend, and it is good that the number of jobs is climbing rather than falling.
But its disappointing that we still havent passed where we were in 2008.
Indeed, the current recovery is miserable and lags way behind the average of previous recoveries.
But the really disappointing news can be found by examining the data on how many working-age people are productively employed.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics has two different data sets that measure the number of people working as a share of the population.
Here are the numbers on the labor force participation rate.
As you can see, we fell down a hill back in 2008 and theres been no recovery.
The same is true for the employment-population ratio, which is the data I prefer for boring, technical reasons.
Though I should acknowledge that the employment-population ratio does show a modest uptick, so perhaps there is a glimmer of good news over the past few years.
But its still very disappointing that this number hasnt bounced back since our economic output is a function of how much labor and capital are productively utilized.
In other words, the official unemployment rate could drop to 4 percent and the economy would be dismal if that number improved for the wrong reason.
* Perhaps the semi-decent numbers from last month are tied to the fact that Congress finally stopped extending subsidies paid to people for staying unemployed?
Are part-time employees counted in the CES survey?
Yes, the CES survey captures counts of all employees on the payroll, including part-time employees. However, part-time employees are not counted separately from full-time employees, so CES data does not include separate estimates of part- and full-time employment.
The Current Population Survey (CPS) does have a separate estimate of part-time employees. More information about CPS collection of full- and part-time employment is available at www.bls.gov/cps/lfcharacteristics.htm#fullpart.
Smoke and mirrors. How can the unemployment rate be lower if fewer people are working?
To: Both political parties in America.
PLEASE START HIRING AMERICANS ONCE AGAIN.
I think they should raise the minimum wage so then more people will want to go to work. /s
The parties don’t hire. Businesses do. However, it would be helpful if government would lower taxes, rescind all the idiotic regulations and just keep its nose out of business.
Growth is absolutely flat. The labor participation rate is at a twenty-five year low. Wages per hour are dropping. A large portion of newly created jobs are part time. Gas is pushing $4.00 a gallon, inflation is worse than reported. You really have to massage the statistics to make this look like a strong economy.
“PLEASE START HIRING AMERICANS ONCE AGAIN.”
But compared to the job growth in the Reagan era these numbers are deathly.
All those who have collected their unemployment benefits and it stopped, are not longer counted. People who couldn’t find a job and have quit looking, are no longer counted. Those who lost a full time job with benefits, to go to a part time job with no benefits, are still counted as fully employed.
The statistics are scewed in the government’s favor, as those still unemployed without jobs or benefits don’t count anymore.
Well then there’s the 800,000 people who gave up last month and left the work force completely.