Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Clearing my backlog this Holiday: BLS October Unemployment Report Review

Obama get's a great unemployment report. Labor market improves and additional workers return while non farm payroll increases by 171,000 and the unemployment rate stays at 7.9%.

The big story was the positive sign that people are coming back to the labor force as shown by the increase in non-farm payrolls (171,000) while the unemployment rate also rose slightly (7.8% to 7.9%).  The household data survey reported that the labor force expanded by 578,000 and 410,000 found jobs.
Also the 171K figure was double the 81,000 NFP jobs added since the end of the recession.   The figure can vary by 100,000 jobs in either direction.  Economists were predicting 150K new jobs at the end of the recession but now forecast about 100K new jobs each month.  

Mitt Romney said, “Today’s increase in the unemployment rate is a sad reminder that the economy is at a virtual standstill.” Obama praised the number but said there was more work to do. Romney had little to complain about in a broadly positive report.

The black unemployment rate jumped to 14.3%.  The 1% increase was not an issue since 387,000 black people returned to the labor market.  Black teenage unemployment was 40%.
Unemployment rose slightly for Hispanic/Latinos to 10.0%.  The white rate remained fixed at 7.0%

The long-term unemployed (27 weeks or more) was 5.002 million people which represents  40% of the unemployed.  The median duration of  unemployment was  20 weeks while the average duration was 40 weeks.  So, the hardcore unemployed stayed unemployed much longer than average.  

 The “work part-time, wants full-time” (WPWF) number was 8.3 million.  These people are considered under employed.  About 2,433 million workers  were marginally attached to the labor pool.  They have looked for work in the last 12 months but not in the last four weeks.   And there were 813K discouraged workers (part of marginally attached) who are not looking because they believe there is no jobs for them.
All three numbers: WPWF, marginally attached and discouraged workers, have been slowly dropping for the last three months as the labor market improves.

Non-Farm Payrolls

As we mention in the summary, non-farm payrolls add 171,000 jobs.  Private sector hiring added 184,000 jobs (vs. 128,000 last month) and government employment lost -13,000 jobs. Job growth was broadly spread accross all areas but retail trade, business services, leisure services and healthcare had large increases. Other key sectors had increases including construction (17K) and manufacturing(13K). Information technology (1K) and finance(4K) were flat.

The federal government lost -6,000 positions, state governments lost -7,000 positions and local government added 3,000 position for a net loss of -10K jobs.

Non-farm payrolls were revised for August upward by 50,000 (from 142K to 192K) and upwards for September by plus 24,000 from (114K to 148K). That’s an increase of 84,000 jobs!

Average work week was unchanged at 34.4 hours and wages dropped 0.01 cents in September. I can't believe wages are dropping.  We have to look at this further.
ADP reported an increase in private payrolls of 158,000 positions for July.

US Monster Employment Index moved up to 156 in October from 153 in September. Hiring was up 3% compared to same month last year. 

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