FEBRUARY 2015 UNEMPLOYMENT DATA*
(U.S. BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS)
OFFICIAL UNEMPLOYMENT: 5.5%*
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**||
|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 February 2015 would have been 9.0% instead of 5.5%. [See “The Labor Force Participation Rate and Its Trajectory”]
|Working part-time because can’t find a full-time job:||6.6 million|
|People who want jobs but are not looking so are not counted in official statistics (of which about 2.2 million** searched for work during the prior 12 months and were available for work during the reference week.)||6.5 million|
|Total: 21.8 million (13.3% 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 January 2015, the latest month available, the number of job openings was 5.0 million, “little changed from December. This was the highest level of job openings since January 2001…..The number of job openings was little changed for total private and government in January. Job openings increased for accommodation and food services and in the West region.” Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary, March 10, 2015.+ Thus there are 4.4 job-wanters for each available job.
Unemployment Rate Vastly Understates Labor Market Weakness
Private Employment Has Grown For 60 Months
Long-Term Unemployment Rose to Historic Highs (cbpp 2/27/15)
Old vs Young: The Story Of America’s Two Labor Markets ZeroHedge, 1/15
The Share of the Population with a Job Fell to Levels Not Seen Since the Mid-1980’s (cbpp 3//15)
GDP Fell Far Below What the Economy
Was Capable of Producing CBPP 2/27/15
+“The number of job openings (not seasonally adjusted) increased over the 12 months ending in January for total nonfarm, total private and government. Job openings increased over the year for many industries including professional and business services, health care and social assistance, and accommodation and food services. Job openings decreased over the year in mining and logging. The number of openings increased over the year in all four regions.”http://www.bls.gov/news.release/jolts.nr0.htm