September 2011


A year earlier, the number of unemployed persons was 14.7
million, and the jobless rate was 9.6 percent. [BLS]

African American
with a disability **
Men 20 years and over
Women 20 years and over
Teens (16-19 years)
Black teens
Officially unemployed
14.0 million


Working part-time because can’t find a full-time job:  9.3 million
People who want jobs but are not looking so are not counted in official statistics (of which about 2.5 million** searched for work during the prior 12 months and were available for work during the reference week.)  6.2 million
Total: 29.5 million (18.4% of the labor force)


**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 June, 2011, the latest month available, the number of job openings was 3.1 million, “essentially unchanged from May. Although the number of job openings in June was 997,000 higher than in July 2009 (the series trough), it has been relatively flat since February 2011 and remains well below
the 4.4 million openings when the recession began in December 2007.”Job Openings and Labor Turnover Estimates, August 10, 2011.+ Thus there are now more than 9 job-wanters for each available job.


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: In July, employers took 1,579 mass layoff actions involving 145,000 workers Mass layoff events increased by 47, or 3 percent, from June, and associated initial claims increased by 1,556, or 1 percent. Manufacturing layoffs in July remained at nearly the same levels reported in June.

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 June (not seasonally adjusted) rose from a year earlier for total nonfarm and total private. The number of job openings increased in mining and logging, retail trade, professional and business services, and health care and social assistance. Job openings decreased over the year for federal government..”

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