October 8, 2010

BLS Stat of the Day: ‘Not in Labor Force, Want a Job Now’

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 7:39 pm

To be clear, I’ve always been skeptical of this category, which consists of people who are NOT considered part of the official unemployment rate calculation. During times when help-wanted signs are everywhere, you can’t help but question the sincerity of many who are in this position (that said, I understand the basic-skills problem, and that many in this category would love to be able to do something, anything; someday I’d like to do an education system-related post about that).

The year-over-year comparison for this stat, after mostly improving, if marginally, from April through July, has gone the wrong way during the past two months, and to a serious extent:


If these folks were included in the official unemployment stats, they would add about 4.8% to the unemployment rate by themselves (they are, as best I can tell, NOT part of the “U-6″ calculation, which came in at a seasonally adjusted 17.1% this month, up from 16.7% in August).


Update, Oct. 20This info at ShadowStats using seasonally adjusted data indicates that including “long-term discouraged workers,” which they say hasn’t been done since 1994, would push the fully-loaded unemployment rate to 22.5%. The word “NOT” has thus been added to the last sentence before this update.


This should not be happening during a genuine economic recovery. But it is, because we aren’t in one. Instead, we’ve just completed the Summer of “Rebound? What Rebound?

Delay-Blogging John Boehner’s Friday Speech

Intense thanks to Matt Hurley and Mark at Weapons of Mass Discussion (their trademark: “People know them”) for extending the invitation to yours truly to attend the speech given today by the likely next Speaker of the House, current Republican Leader and 8th District Ohio Congressman, John Boehner.

After a shuttle bus trip, the roughly 400-500 invitees and probably 50 media types were first treated to a brown-bag lunch at United Group Services in Butler County. We all then went to a separate UGS building where Boehner was to speak. His speech began at about 12:35.

Boehner spoke after a heartfelt introduction from UGS President Mark Mosley.

Here are the top five direct-quote takeaways, in order of appearance, with the exception of the last, which I have bookended from different segments of the speech (bolds and uppercase words are obviously mine):

  • Let me be crystal clear, it if isn’t clear already: this speech is about jobs. And this speech is about jobs, because this coming election is about jobs. It’s about the jobs that were promised to the American people by the current administration, and never delivered.”
  • The truth of the matter is, our economy is built on freedom. You don’t get to prosperity by taking freedom away from the people who create jobs. You achieve prosperity by getting government out of their way.”
  • “The pink slips shouldn’t be going to workers here in Ohio. They should be going to the members of Barack Obama’s economic team.”
  • “The Pledge to America is a break not only from the direction in which President Obama is headed, but also a break from the direction Republicans were headed when we last had the opportunity to govern. And I can promise you: if we’re entrusted with the opportunity to govern, we are going to do things differently. The American people deserve nothing less, and we will accept nothing less. I will accept nothing less.”
  • “At the health care summit last February, President Obama told us it’s OK to have deep philosophical differences and different visions for where we’d lead our country. “That’s what elections are for,” he said. …”

    “Ladies and gentlemen, your government hasn’t been listening. Your government is disrespecting you, your family, your job, your children. Your government is out of control.”

    “Do you have to accept it? Do you have to take it? HELL NO YOU DON’T! That’s what elections are for!”

Nicely done, sir.

The full speech follows — after the jump if you’re on the home page — courtesy of Don Seymour.


Prayers for Glenn Beck and His Family

Filed under: General — Tom @ 2:08 pm

Details and vids from today’s broadcast are here.

Fast-Food Blogging the September Employment Situation Report (100810); +64K Private Sector, 9.6% Unemployment, -366K-Job Prior Adjustment

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:14 am

After regrouping due to an ISP outage in the area ….

The runup — At least before Wednesday’s ADP Employment Situation Report, which came in with 39,000 private-sector jobs lost in September, the belief was that there would be about 75,000 private-sector jobs added.

Let’s see what things look like after that report and Gallup’s poll showing a 10.1% not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate:

  • This AP report is sticking to the 75,000.
  • This NY Daily News report is going with +50,000 for the entire job market and an uptick in the unemployment rate to 9.7%.
  • This NY Post item is going with 75,000 private-sector jobs and 9.7%.
  • Update: In the final minutes before the report, I have to rip at Bloomberg. It’s carrying the same prediction, but with its usual, “we’re so sure of ourselves” arrogance — “Unemployment Probably Rose as U.S. Companies Limited Hiring.” Guys, regardless of how it turns out, you don’t “probably” know anything, and that you’re pretending to “probably” know it pathetic.

This Month’s (Not Seasonally Adjusted) NSA Benchmark

Here’s where we were after August’s report:


Readers may recall that I considered July’s and August’s results pretty decent and okay, respectively.

In this context, I would hope that the on-the-ground in figure in September is 400,000 or fewer jobs lost. This far into a recovery is no time to start grading on a curve, and a -400,000 performance would still trail a couple of years earlier last decade.

Also, don’t forget that the comprehensive adjustment discussed in the latter portions of this Wednesday post still looms large.

The report will appear here at 8:30 a.m.

UPDATE: First paragraph:

Nonfarm payroll employment edged down (-95,000) in September, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 9.6 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Government employment declined (-159,000), reflecting both a drop in the number of temporary jobs for Census 2010 and job losses in local government. Private-sector payroll employment continued to trend up modestly (+64,000).

Here is the preliminarly comprehensive adjustment to prior numbers, which will be finalized in March of next year:


On top of last year’s comprehensive adjustment of -902,000 jobs (-933,000) in the private sector), that brings the two-year total of such adjustments to -1,268,000 (-1,304,000 in the private sector). The marvels of the POR (Pelosi-Obama-Reid) Economy, which as readers here know began in roughly May-June of 2008, are something to behold, aren’t they?

UPDATE 2: Here is the new NSA private-sector table —


September’s figure came in just short of the 400,000 benchmark. If you include prior-month adjustments that net out to about +20,000 jobs, you could argue that the benchmark was met. That’s fine, but I can’t help but remember yesterday’s surprisingly strong assertion by Gallup (surprising because the pollster’s words are usually pretty measured) that BLS probably missed some of the decay that may have occurred in late September.

We obviously won’t know for sure if Gallup is right for a couple of months. But if Team Obama was looking for any kind of evidence in today’s report that what it has done since it took power is bearing meaningful fruit, it has to be disappointed. I’m far more disappointed for the millions of unemployed and under-employed who have been ill-served by this government’s policies. Based on past experience, millions of them would be working today instead of being unemployed, or working full-time instead of part-time, if proper steps with a proven track record had been taken.

UPDATE 3: There’s better news on the unemployment-rate front, as the NSA rate, despite Gallup’s take, came down —


I was concerned yesterday that this rate might go up, so it’s a relief that it came in where it did. But it deserves closer scrutiny, which is coming …. aha, here’s the problem:


Simply put, lots people are clearly staying on the sidelines. At this point in a recovery after a severe recession, both the employment-population ratio and and the workforce participation rate should be heading upward, and they aren’t. In the early 1980s recovery, these NSA percentages did increase year-over-year. In this alleged recovery, it’s still not happening.