FEBRUARY 2014 UNEMPLOYMENT DATA*
(U.S. BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS)
OFFICIAL UNEMPLOYMENT: 6.6%*
A year earlier, the number of unemployed persons was 12.3 million,
and the jobless rate was 7.9 percent. [BLS]
|Persons with a disability**||
|Men 20 years and over||
|Women 20 years and over||
|Teens (16-19 years)||
*If the LFPR were at its pre-recession level, the unemployment rate in January 2014 would have been 9.9% instead of 6.6%. [See “The Labor Force Participation Rate and Its Trajectory”]
|Working part-time because can’t find a full-time job:||7.2 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.)||6.1 million|
Total: 23.8 million (14.7% 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 2012, the latest year available, that number was 18.0 million, 17.5 percent of full-time, full-year workers (estimated from Current Population Survey, Bur. of the Census, 9/2013).
In January 2014, the latest month available, the number of job openings was 4.0 million, which represented little change from December. Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary, March 11, 2014.+
Thus there are about 6 job-wanters for each available job.
MISSING WORKERS: THE MISSING PART
OF THE EMPLOYMENT STORY (EPI)
“We lost 8,695,000 jobs in the downturn, but we have since gained
back 7,844,000, so we are now “only” 851,000 jobs below where we
were when the recession began in December 2007.” –Heidi Shierholz, EPI
+” …There were 4.0 million job openings in January, little changed from December. The number of openings also was little changed in total private and government. The number of job openings decreased in retail trade; the number increased in health care and social assistance and in arts, entertainment, and recreation. The West region experienced a rise in job openings in January…” (http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/jolts.pdf)