Unemployment Data–JUNE 2022

June 2022 Unemployment Data–the Full Count



African American
Persons with a disability¹
Men 20 years and over
Women 20 years and over
Teens (16-19 years)
Black teens
Officially unemployed
5.9 million


Working part-time because can’t find a full-time job:  3.6 million
People who want jobs but are not looking so are not counted in official statistics (of which 1.5 million¹ searched for work during the prior 12 months and were available for work during the reference week.)  5.7 million
Total: 15.2 million (9.0% of the labor force)

Source: http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/empsit.pdf “In June, 2.1 million persons reported that they had been unable to work because their employer closed
or lost business due to the pandemic—that is, they did not work at all or worked fewer hours at some point in the 4 weeks preceding the survey due to the pandemic. This measure is up from 1.8 million in the previous month. Among those who reported in June that they were unable to work because of pandemic-related closures or lost business, 24.8 percent received at least some pay from their employer for the hours not worked, little different from the previous month.” For BLS State and area data, see Geographic Information and State Unemployment Summary and Current Unemployment Rates for States and Historical Highs/Lows, Seasonally Adjusted

*See Uncommon Sense #4 and How the BLS Measures Unemployment for an explanation of the unemployment measures.

¹Not seasonally adjusted.  Marginally Attached workers want work and are available, have looked for work within the last 12 months, but not during “the 4 weeks preceding the survey.”

WORKING BUT IN POVERTY: In addition, millions more were working full-time, year-round, yet earned less than the official poverty level for a family of four. In 2020,  that number was 12.2 million, 11.6 percent of full-time, full-year workers (estimated from Current Population Survey, Bur. of the  Census). The poverty threshold in 2020 was $26,496 for a family of four.

HOW MANY JOBS ARE AVAILABLE? In June 2022, the latest month available, the number of job openings was 10.7 million. Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary, August 2, 2022.  Thus there are 1.4 job-wanters for each available job. See also JOLTS Experimental State Estimates

HOW UNEMPLOYMENT IS MEASURED: Unemployment is measured as a percent of the civilian non-institutional labor force.  The unemployed are those who have not worked at least an hour during the week of record, when a sample survey is taken, and who have looked for work during that month. The labor force includes those 16 years old and older who are either working or unemployed.  It excludes those in  institutions, like nursing homes or prisons, and those in the military. The latter two groups would in all likelihood experience high unemployment. Merely adding the incarcerated would add about one percentage point to the unemployment rate.

2 thoughts on “Unemployment Data–JUNE 2022

  1. The BLS reports that “average weekly earnings for production and nonsupervisory workers” was slightly higher in May 1965 than in June 2022, 57 years. The source: https://data.bls.gov/timeseries/CES0500000031 — This marks a 57 year stall in average weekly pay to about 80% of U.S. workers. Looking at this graph that begins in 1964, we see a surge until 1973, and then a consistent drop in the average weekly until 1993, when it had lost 24% since its peak, and then a slow and consistent growth until it has reached its 1965 level, but is still 8% below its 1973 level. In 57 years, 1965 to 2022, the “disposable” per capita income in “chained 2012 dollars” has tripled, going from $15,051 to $48,219, and the real GDP per capita has nearly tripled, going from $21,011 to $59,288 (from BEA, Table 2.1 and the Fed’s FRED graphs). I’m always shocked when I think about this no growth in wages. It colors my interpretation of the economy. We are in an asset bubble. The Fed’s Flow of Funds shows that “corporate equities” grew by 50% between Q2 2020 and Q2 2021 (Table B.101, page 138), growing from $20 trillion to $30 trillion. And in the same 12 months, going back to the BEA.gov Table 2.1, Personal Income, the savings rate average 19.0% which is about 3 times the normal. We have a strong labor market recovery despite the lower wages, but we have very large asset bubbles in housing and stocks, and a thoroughly depressed wage structure for 80% of workers, and inflation, since January 2020 it is up 13.2%, when normal would be 3.3%. I am fascinated with the dynamics of the economy, and not comfortable with long-term trends, and the short-term trends are looking scary, could be scary, but who knows. The Build Back Better program would provide a lot a good paying jobs, and of course a public jobs program is still needed, with 15.2 million still not working, and about 42% of the households experiencing hardship to some degree including poverty.

  2. You are right about wage stagnation, also encouraged by the unchanged minimum wage. This has been such a scandal that many states/cities
    have increased their own, some resulting from votes on referendums. Not sure why you say “We have a strong labor market recovery despite the lower wages…”

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