DECEMBER 2014 UNEMPLOYMENT DATA*
(U.S. BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS)
OFFICIAL UNEMPLOYMENT: 5.6%*
A year earlier, the number of unemployed persons was 10.4 million,
and the jobless rate was 6.7 percent. [BLS]
|Persons with a disability**||11.2%|
|Men 20 years and over||5.3%|
|Women 20 years and over||5.0%|
|Teens (16-19 years)||16.8%|
|Officially unemployed||8.7 million|
*If the LFPR were at its pre-recession level, the unemployment rate in December 2014 would have been 9.1% instead of 5.6%. [See “The Labor Force Participation Rate and Its Trajectory”]
|Working part-time because can’t find a full-time job:||6.8 million|
|People who want jobs but are not looking so are not counted in official statistics (of which about 2.3 million** searched for work during the prior 12 months and were available for work during the reference week.)||6.4 million|
|Total: 21.9 million (13.5% of the labor force)|
Source: http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/empsit.pdf See also Current Employment Statistics–Highlights
**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?.
In addition, millions more were working full-time, year-round, yet earned less than the official poverty level for a family of four. In 2013, the latest year available, that number was 18.5 million, 17.5 percent of full-time, full-year workers (estimated from Current Population Survey, Bur. of the Census, 9/2014).
In October 2014, the latest month available, the number of job openings was 4.8 million, “little changed from 4.7 million in September…The number of job openings was little changed for total private and declined for government in October.The number of job openings decreased for state and local government. The job openings level was little changed in all four regions.” Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary, December 9, 2014.+ Thus there are 4.6 job-wanters for each available job.
Unemployment Rate Vastly Understates Labor Market Weakness
Private Employment Has Grown For 58 Months
Long-Term Unemployment Remains Near Historic Highs
Old vs Young: The Story Of America’s Two Labor Markets ZeroHedge, 1/15
The Share of the Population with a Job RemainsDepressed (cbpp 1/9/15)
GDP Fell Far Below What the Economy
Was Capable of Producing CBPP 1/9/15
+“The number of job openings (not seasonally adjusted) increased over the 12 months ending in October for total nonfarm and total private and was little changed for government. The job openings level increased over the year for many industries, including both professional and business services and accommodation and food services. The number of openings also increased over the year in all four regions.”http://www.bls.gov/news.release/jolts.nr0.htm