Duration of Unemployment September 2011 Increased 4.96%

The September unemployment report is yet another disappointment, with not enough jobs to keep up with population growth. The jobs situation has been dismal for 45 months. Now we have a new record, the average duration of time being unemployed is at record highs for as long as the BLS has kept track, 1948. Below is the graph, which looks like a time bomb.

Unemployment 9.1% for September 2011 - 103,000 Jobs

The September 2011 monthly unemployment figures show the official unemployment rate remained at 9.1% and the total jobs gained were 103,000. 45,000 of those jobs are not new jobs, but Verizon workers who returned back to work after being on strike. Total private jobs came in at 137,000. If one subtracts off the returning strikers, September showed 82,000 new private sector jobs. Government jobs dropped -34,000.

Job JOLTS - There are 4.32 Unemployed Per Job Opening in July 2011

JOLTS stands for Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey. The July 2011 statistics show there were 4.32 official unemployed people hunting for a job to every position available. There were only 3,228,000 job openings for July 2011, almost the same, +1.86%, from the previous month of 3,169,000.

Under the Hood of the Employment Report Household Survey

You might be wondering how the unemployment rate could stay the same, 9.1% while zero actual payrolls jobs were added. When the unemployment report is released, it's actually a 2fer. There are two separate surveys or reports: the current establishment survey, which reports on nonfarm payrolls only, and the the household survey, which uses the Census population estimates as a base. The establishment survey has an error margin of 100,000 per month, while the household survey has an error margin of 400,000 per month. Additionally the establishment survey is jobs, as reported by employers. It is W-2 types of jobs and doesn't count agriculture workers to boot, whereas the household survey estimates the self-employed, farm workers, the glorified servants of the uber-rich and my favorite, unpaid family workers.

Additionally the survey timing is different. The establishment survey picks up the pay period which includes the 12th of that month. So, whether one is paid hourly, daily, weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, they just look at the pay period which includes the 12th. No pay on the 12th and you're paid daily, then that job doesn't count, including unpaid sick days. Working one hour a month and it magically falls on the 12th? By this survey, that's actually a job.

The Household survey, also called the current population survey also takes results for the week which includes the 12th day of each month. People are counted as employed in this survey, even when they are absent from their jobs for that entire week, paid or not paid.

For more details on the surveys, see this FAQ.

July 2011 Employment Disappoints But Stops Chicken Little in His Tracks

The July unemployment report is yet another disappointment, with not enough jobs to keep up with population growth. The jobs situation has been dismal for 43 months or over three and a half years. Yet those thinking Economic Armageddon Redux was suddenly upon us, literally crashing the BLS server to get the news, were sorely mistaken.

Earlier we reviewed the July 2011 BLS employment ratios. While not the Armageddon Wall Street was expecting, it's clear the job crisis has not dissipated. Both June and May new jobs numbers were revised upward, but not enough.

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for May was revised from +25,000 to +53,000, and the change for June was revised from +18,000 to +46,000.

Let's drill down deeper into the numbers to show just how badly America needs good jobs.

There are 13,931,000 people officially unemployed, and if one takes the alternative measure of unemployment, it's 24.7 million.