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Alternative Unemployment Rate is 16.6% and Other Scary Unemployment Statistics

April brings showers and yet another sad employment report. The new official unemployed tally is 12,500,000 with an unemployment rate of 8.1%. We calculate below an alternative unemployment rate of 16.62%, which shows 26.72 million people need a full-time, real job.

The Meager April 2012 115,000 Jobs Report Shows Lowest Labor Participation Rate Since 1981

The April 2012 monthly unemployment figures show the official unemployment rate dropped a 10th of a percentage point to 8.1% due to people dropping out of the labor force. Total nonfarm payroll jobs gained were 115,000. Total private jobs came in at 130,000, with 21,100 of those jobs being temporary. Government jobs dropped, -15,000. While manufacturing gained 16,000 jobs, transportation and warehousing dropped -16,600 jobs. It takes about 100,000 jobs each month just to keep up with population growth so this is a terrible report for the American worker.

 

unemployment rate

 

Job JOLTS - There are 3.66 Official Unemployed per Job Opening in February 2012

JOLTS stands for Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey. The February 2012 statistics show there were 3.66 official unemployed people hunting for a job to every position available*. There were 3,498,000 job openings for February 2012, an increase of 0.6%, from the previous month of 3,477,000. This is no change from January 2012 in actual job openings. Job openings have increased 60% from their July 2009 trough. Yet opportunities are still way below the 1.8 persons per job opening at the start of the recession, December 2007. Below is the graph of February official unemployed, 12.806 million, per job opening.

 

jolts u3 02/12

 

Unemployment 8.2%, 120,000 Jobs for March 2012

The March 2012 monthly unemployment figures show the official unemployment rate dropped a 10th of a percentage point to 8.2%, and the total nonfarm payroll jobs gained was 120,000. These statistics are not the blow out most were hoping for. Total private jobs came in at 121,000. Government jobs dropped, -1,000. While manufacturing gained 37,000 jobs, retail trade, a category that includes retail sales clerks, dropped -33,800 jobs.

 

unemployment rate

 

Unemployment 8.3%, 227,000 Jobs for February 2012

The February 2012 monthly unemployment figures show the official unemployment rate remained the same, 8.3%, and the total jobs gained were 227,000. While this report is good news, we've got a long, long way to go before returning to a healthy labor market. Total private jobs came in at 233,000. Government jobs dropped, -6,000. Most of the jobs were in the service sector, 209,000.

Job JOLTS - There are 3.88 Official Unemployed Per Job Opening in December 2011

JOLTS stands for Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey. The December 2011 statistics show there were 3.88 official unemployed people hunting for a job to every position available*. There were 3,376,000 job openings for December 2011, an increase of 8.27%, from the previous month of 3,118,000. This is a marked improvement from last month. While job openings have increased 60% from their June 2009 trough, jobs are still way below the 1.19 person per job opening at the start of the recession. Below is the graph of number of official unemployed, 13.097 million, per job opening for December 2011.

 

jolts u3 12/11

 

The January Employment Report Shows Things Aren't as Rosy as Some Want to Believe

While the pundits and press gush over this month's employment report, things are still not rosy. The new official unemployed tally is 12,758,000. The average length of unemployment is still very high, 40.1 weeks.

 

average duration unemployment

 

People unemployed for 27 weeks or more is now 42.2% of the total unemployed, or 5,518,000 million. This number has barely budged as a percentage of total unemployed in comparison to pre-recession and historical levels.

Unemployment 8.3% for January 2012 - 243,000 Jobs, Really?

The January 2012 monthly unemployment figures show the official unemployment rate dropped -0.2 percentage points to 8.3% and the total jobs gained were 243,000. Total private jobs came in at 257,000. Government jobs dropped -14,000. Information jobs dropped by -13,000 and financial services payrolls dropped by -5,000. All other major job categories had payroll gains.Temporary jobs increased 20,100.

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