June 2010


A year earlier, the number of unemployed persons was 14.7 million, and the jobless rate was 9.5 percent. [BLS]

African American
Asian**                                     7.7%
Persons with a disability **
Men 20 years and over
Women 20 years and over
Teens (16-19 years)
Black teens
Officially unemployed
14.6 million


Working part-time because can’t find a full-time job:   8.6 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.)   5.9 million
Total: 29.1 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 2008, the latest year available, that number was 17.8 million, 17.1 percent of full-time, full-year workers (estimated from Current Population Survey, Bur. of the  Census, 2009).

In April, 2010, the latest month available, the number of job openings increased slightly to 3.1 million, according to the BLS, Job Openings and Labor Turnover Estimates, June 8, 2010.+ Thus there are now more than 9 job-wanters for each available job.[Numbers are not comparable with previous months as methods have been revised.]

Comparing Long-Term Unemployment: 1999-2009


Mass layoffs: “Employers took 1,856 mass layoff actions in April that resulted in the separation of 200,870 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 action involved at least 50 persons from a single employer. The number of mass layoff events in April increased by 228 from the prior month, and the
number of associated initial claims increased by 50,006. In April, 448 mass layoff events were reported in the manufacturing sector, seasonally adjusted, resulting in 63,616 initial claims.During the 29 months from December 2007 through April 2010, the total number of mass layoff events (seasonally adjusted) was 58,793, and the associated number of initial claims was 5,932,553. (December 2007 was the start of a recession as designated by the National Bureau of Economic Research.).”BLS, 5/21/10
“REVIEW OF 2009 For all of 2009, on a not seasonally adjusted basis, the total numbers of mass layoff events, at 28,030, and initial claims, at 2,796,456, reached their highest annual levels on record. Among the 19 major industry sectors in the private economy, manufacturing had the most initial claims in 2009 (1,137,106), followed by administrative and waste services (294,709) and construction (205,765). Manufacturing also had the largest over-the-year increase in total annual initial claims (+266,796), with retail trade (+57,283) and administrative and waste services (+48,039) experiencing the next largest increases. Among the major industry sectors, 12 registered series highs for both mass layoff events and initial claims in 2009: mining; construction; wholesale trade; retail trade; transportation and warehousing; finance and insurance; real estate and rental and leasing; management of companies and enterprises; administrative and waste services; health care and social assistance; arts, entertainment, and recreation; and accommodation and food services.
Among the 4 census regions, the Midwest reported the highest number of mass layoff initial claims filed during 2009 (892,202), followed by the West and the South. All 4 regions experienced over-the-year annual increases, with the largest increases taking place in the Midwest (+215,611). The Midwest, Northeast, and South also reached program highs for total initial claims in 2009. ….” (BLS, January 27, 2010)

Source: http://www.epi.org/publication/snapshot_20090701/

+ “The job openings level increased in April for total nonfarm and total private. The level decreased for government. The number of job openings was little changed in most industries and in 2 of the 4 regions. The level increased in the Northeast and the West.