Unemployment Data – May 2017

MAY 2017 Unemployment Data–the Full Count*
(U.S. BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS)

OFFICIAL UNEMPLOYMENT: 4.3%* [Analyses]

White
     3.7%
African American
7.5%
Hispanic
5.2%
Asian**
           3.6%
Persons with a disability**
  9.5%
Men 20 years and over
3.8%
Women 20 years and over
4.0%
Teens (16-19 years)
14.3%
Black teens
27.3%
Officially unemployed
6.9 million

*If the LFPR were at its pre-recession level, the unemployment rate in June 2017 would have been 5.4%  instead of 4.3%. [See “The Labor Force Participation Rate and Its Trajectory”]

HIDDEN UNEMPLOYMENT

Working part-time because can’t find a full-time job: 5.2 million
People who want jobs but are not looking so are not counted in official statistics (of which about 1.5 million** searched for work during the prior 12 months and were available for work during the reference week.) 5.6 million
Total: 17.7 million (10.7% of the labor force)

Source: http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/empsit.pdf See also Current Employment Statistics–Highlights For BLS State and area data, see Geographic Information and State Unemployment Summary. Also, EPI’s State unemployment rates by race and ethnicity.

**Not seasonally adjusted.
*See Uncommon Sense #4 for an explanation of the unemployment measures, and Is the Decline in the Labor Force Participation Rate During This Recession Permanent?.

Unemployment rates by state: CareerTrends | Graphiq

In addition, millions more were working full-time, year-round, yet earned less than the official poverty level for a family of four. In 2015,  that number was 17.4 million, 15.7 percent of full-time, full-year workers (estimated from Current Population Survey, Bur. of the  Census, 8/2016). The poverty threshold in 2015 was $24,257 for a family of four.

In April 2017, the latest month available, the number of job openings was 6.0 million. Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary, June 6, 2017.  Thus there are nearly 3 job-wanters for each available job.