Posts Tagged ‘jobs market’
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there were 3.8 million jobs opening in the U.S. jobs market in the month of March, unchanged from February and lower than March 2012 (Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 7, 2013.) The hires rate, which is the number of people hired relative to those already working, declined in March in the durable goods manufacturing, nondurable goods manufacturing, arts, entertainment, and recreation sectors.
There are still almost 12 million individuals in the U.S. economy who are jobless, and a significant portion of them have been unemployed for more than six months.
So far this year, 783,000 jobs have been added to the U.S. jobs market. While this number sounds good, in the same period last year, there were almost 900,000 jobs added to the jobs market. In 2011, it was 774,000 jobs. (Source: Wall Street Journal, May 8, 2013.)
In addition to all this, there are threats to the jobs market ahead, such as sequestration—$85.0 billion in spending cut from the U.S. federal government. These cuts are expected to hit the jobs market in the summer. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated that the cuts in government spending will result in a reduction of 750,000 jobs. (Source: CNBC, May 1, 2013.)
I am looking at the recent declining number of jobless claims as a positive sign, but the jobs market is still in a dismal state. Until the jobs market really picks up, my negative opinion on the U.S. economy won’t change.
This morning, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that the “official” unemployment rate in the U.S. economy decreased to 7.5% in April. (Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 3, 2013.) While this may give politicians and the mainstream media another reason to brag about “economic growth” in the U.S. economy, this jobs market report actually proves the opposite is happening.
What I see as the most important statistic in the jobs market report—the underemployment rate—actually increased. In March, underemployment in the U.S. economy was 13.8%; we found out this morning that underemployment increased to 13.9% last month.
In April, the number of Americans in the jobs market working just part-time increased by 278,000 to 7.9 million. These individuals are not working part-time because they want to; they are doing this because they can’t find full-time work.
Of all the unemployed in the jobs market, 37.4% have been out of work for more than six months. This number hasn’t been decreasing as quickly as it should. The longer these individuals stay away from the jobs market, the more difficult it will be for them to get back to work.
The number of people participating in the U.S. jobs market is in decline as well. In January, the labor force participation rate in the U.S. economy was 63.6%; in April, it declined to 63.3%.
Dear reader, the reason the “official” unemployment rate declined in April was because this statistic does not include all the people looking for work (they’ve given up looking) and because there has been an influx in low-wage-paying work added to jobs market. In April alone, more … Read More
In periods of economic growth, the jobs market is filled with opportunities. Individuals are able to quickly find jobs at competitive wages. But today, we have the exact opposite.
The average civilian labor force participation rate for the U.S. economy in 2012 was 63.7%—the lowest rate since 1979. (Source: Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis web site, last accessed April 8, 2013.)
In March, the rate dropped even lower. Last Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the labor force participation rate declined to 63.3%. (Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, April 5, 2013.) The labor force participation rate decreasing in the U.S. economy means that an increasing number of individuals in the jobs market are becoming discouraged—they’re giving up looking for work.
In March, there were more than 800,000 discouraged workers in the U.S. jobs market.
In the first quarter of 2007, the number of individuals not in the labor force was 77.7 million. Fast-forward to the first quarter of 2013, and this number has reached almost 90 million individuals. (Source: Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis web site, last accessed April 8, 2013.) This represents an increase of more than 15.8%.
With all this said, let me ask this one question: if a significant number of Americans is becoming discouraged and leaving the labor force, what does that say about economic growth in the U.S.? There is no rocket science behind this; a high number of individuals working means economic growth, while a lower number means the contrary.
The official unemployment rate suggests that yes, the jobs market is improving. But digging into the details shows that it … Read More
This morning the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported there were only 88,000 jobs added to the U.S. jobs market last month. This will certainly give the politicians more bragging rights: the unemployment rate in the U.S. economy decreased to 7.6% in March, down from 7.7% in February. (Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, April 5, 2013.)
As I always say, the devil resides in the details. The anemic jobs numbers report today showed, once again, how tormented the U.S. economy really is. In the month of March, the civilian labor force declined by almost 500,000 people!
Problems in the U.S. jobs market still persist. The number of Americans unemployed for more than six months hasn’t improved. They still make up almost 40% of the unemployed in the U.S. economy. Keep in mind; the longer they stay out of work, the harder it will be for them to get back into the jobs market, as they lose their skills.
The underemployment rate, a measure I consider to be a good indicator of the jobs market, still hasn’t shown any major improvements. In March, it stood just under 14%, compared to 14.3% in February.
March’s jobs market report is worrisome to say the least. Over the past 12-month period, on average, the U.S. economy has seen 169,000 jobs added each month. With only 88,000 jobs added last month, March’s jobs created were 48% below the 12-month average!
If you take out stock buyback programs, companies in key stock indices are struggling with profit growth. And I believe they have no other option than to cut their labor forces to maintain profits.
We … Read More
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