Skip to comments.There's No Consensus About Unemployment
Posted on 06/12/2014 6:48:16 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
With the government's latest monthly employment report, the American job market has entered a bewildering good news/bad news phase. The good news is that May's increase of 217,000 payroll jobs finally puts total employment above its pre-recession peak. There are 8.8 million more jobs than at the low point. Unemployment has dropped from 10 percent to 6.3 percent. Chief White House economist Jason Furman points out that monthly job gains have averaged nearly 200,000 in the past year and are trending up.
And the bad news? There's plenty of that too. Economist Gary Burtless of the Brookings Institution notes that getting to the pre-recession employment level took six years and four months, far longer than the previous post-World War II record of four years after the 2001 recession. Not only has job creation been slow, but the number of people wanting more work remains discouragingly high. To the 9.8 million officially unemployed must be added another 7 million; they say they would like a job but - because they are not looking - are not counted in the labor force. Finally, there are 7.3 million part-time workers who would like longer hours.
Because the evidence is mixed, it's hard to describe the job situation in terms that will strike most people as realistic. Clearly, the labor market has improved. At the depths of the recession, there were nearly seven unemployed workers for every estimated job opening, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Now, the ratio is about 2.2. (Note: In 2007, this ratio fell to 1.4.) The latest number of job openings is 4.5 million for April, 108 percent higher than the low point in July 2009.
But the improvement has not yet been powerful enough to produce a parallel increase in wages, as employers bid for scarce workers.
(Excerpt) Read more at realclearmarkets.com ...
One question: has the Bureau of Labor Statistics changed the way it measures unemployment in the past 6 years?
All I know is, the last time I was in a Walmart is appeared every single thing in the entire store which wasn’t a food, was manufactured in China.
We need to bring back American production.
America will not succeed, by importing everything from China - China is rapidly becoming the single biggest global player, and will replace us if we continue on this path.
Bring back American manufacturing.
RE: All I know is, the last time I was in a Walmart is appeared every single thing in the entire store which wasnt a food, was manufactured in China.
So, why do people buy them and how many percent of their income would have been used to buy the same products if they were made in the USA?
Until a couple of years ago, the definition of “long-term unemployment” was top-coded at 99 weeks. Because of the sluggish Obama recovery, however, this limit resulted in many more unemployed person bunched up at 99 weeks. Now, the limit is 260 weeks (5 years!). To the best of my knowledge, there have been no other changes in the basic concepts and definitions used to classify people as employed or unemployed in the past 6 years.
All I know is the number excluded from calculations, appears to continue increasing.
So the percentage is not counting everyone.
That is my impression anyway. Unemployment is significantly worse than our calculation says.
Just my opinion however. Welcome comments.
“Bring back American manufacturing.”
We manufacture twice as much stuff in the US as we did 40 years ago. We just don’t use nearly as many workers to do so. And, of course, manufacturing output as a fraction of total GDP is much smaller now than 40 years ago. Our economy has become much more service-oriented.
So, while US manufacturing never really went away, manufacturing employment will never come back (in relative or absolute terms) to what it was in the past.
Why then, does everything I see in Walmart say “Made in China”?
(discounting for a moment, foods)
You are probably referring to the fact that the number of people counted as “not in the labor force” and thus not counted as “unemployed” has risen as a fraction of the working-age population. But these categories have been defined essentially in essentially the same way for 40 years, at least. The BLS calculates alternative measures of the unemployment rate for those who want to include at least some people in the “not in the labor force” category as unemployed. Here is the site:
U-3 is the “official” unemployment rate.
Check the motor oil aisle.
Walmart sells a lot of low-priced items that are just too cheap to be produced by relatively high-wage (and high productivity) US workers. If you want to by a shirt for $15, you aren't going to find one at that price made in the US.
We rarely shop at Walmart, and we conscientiously try to buy products that are made in the US or at least not in China. Our decision stems primarily from health and safety concerns (ours, not those of Chinese workers). But I agree that is is difficult to find things in many consumer-product categories that are made here, or at least not in China.
Unemployment is UP. It has not gone down. See post 2