October 2011


A year earlier, the number of unemployed persons was 14.9
million, and the jobless rate was 9.7 percent. [BLS]



African American






Persons with a disability**


Men 20 years and over


Women 20 years and over


Teens (16-19 years)


Black teens


Officially unemployed

13.9 million


Working part-time because can’t find a full-time job:  8.9 million
People who want jobs but are not looking so are not counted in official statistics (of which about 2.6 million** searched for work during the prior 12 months and were available for work during the reference week.)  6.4 million

Total: 29.2 million (18.2% of the labor force)

Source: http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/empsit.pdf

**Not seasonally adjusted.
*See Uncommon Sense #4 for an explanation of the unemployment measures.

In addition, millions more were working full-time, year-round, yet earned less than the official poverty level for a family of four. In 2010, the latest year available, that number was 16.8 million, 17.0 percent of full-time, full-year workers (estimated from Current Population Survey, Bur. of the  Census, 9/2011).

In August, 2011, the latest month available, the number of job openings was 3.1 million, little changed from July. Although the number of job openings remained below the 4.4 million openings when the recession began in December 2007, the level in August was 944,000 higher than in July 2009 (the most recent trough).” Job Openings and Labor Turnover Estimates, October 12, 2011.+ Thus there are now more than 9 job-wanters for each available job.

Source:http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2011/07/jobs_debt[no longer there]

Employment-population ratio 1/1948 to 6/2011

The Waste [of output] by Paul Krugman August 11, 2011, blog
cumulative loss because of recession: $2.8 Tr.


Mass layoffs: Employers took 1,495 mass layoff actions in September involving 153,229 workers, seasonally adjusted, as measured by new filings for unemployment insurance benefits during the month, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Each mass layoff involved at least 50 workers from a single employer. The number of mass layoff events in September decreased by 92 from August, and the number of associated initial claims decreased by 12,318. In September, 376 mass layoff events were reported in the manufacturing sector, seasonally adjusted, resulting in 39,929 initial claims.

Mass layoffs:  Review of 2010 BLS, 2/11/11
For all of 2010, employers reported 7,158 extended mass layoff actions, affecting 1,213,638 workers. Compared to 2009, the number of events decreased by 39 percent and the number of separations decreased by 42 percent, the first over-the-year decline for both measures since 2005. The annual average national unemployment rate increased from 9.3 percent in 2009 to 9.6 percent in 2010, and private nonfarm payroll employment decreased by 0.8 percent, or 914,000.

Industry Distribution of Extended Layoffs
In the private nonfarm economy, manufacturing reported the largest number of separations, despite reaching a program low in 2010 (with annual data available back to 1996). Construction had the next highest number of separations. Educational services reported program highs in both layoff events and separations in 2010.
+ “The number of job openings in August (not seasonally adjusted) increased over the year for total private and was essentially unchanged for total nonfarm and government. Several industries experienced an increase over the year in the number of job openings; the number of job openings decreased for federal government. The number of job openings rose in the Midwest.”


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