The September Employment Situation Report (100711): 9.1% Unemployment, 58K Non-Verizon SA Jobs Added; SA Jobs Trending Downward; Sept. Weaker Than August
From the Bureau of Labor Statistics — a triple-digit month but which, after necessary adjustments, at least in terms of seasonally adjusted data, is a bit of a downshift:
Nonfarm payroll employment edged up by 103,000 in September, and the unemployment rate held at 9.1 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. The increase in employment partially reflected the return to payrolls of about 45,000 telecommunications workers who had been on strike in August.
Household Survey Data
The number of unemployed persons, at 14.0 million, was essentially unchanged in September, and the unemployment rate was 9.1 percent. Since April, the rate has held in a narrow range from 9.0 to 9.2 percent.
… The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) rose to 9.3 million in September. These individuals were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job.
Establishment Survey Data
Total nonfarm payroll employment edged up by 103,000 in September. Since April, payroll employment has increased by an average of 72,000 per month, compared with an average of 161,000 for the prior 7 months. In September, job gains occurred in professional and business services, health care, and construction. Government employment continued to trend down.
… Employment in information was up by 34,000 over the month due to the return of about 45,000 telecommunications workers to payrolls after an August strike.
… The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for July was revised from +85,000 to +127,000, and the change for August was revised from 0 to +57,000.
Well, the prior-month revisions are good to see, but that leaves us in a less than desirable deceleration mode in the land of seasonal adjustment:
- July, +127K
- August, +57K, which would have been +102K if the 45K (net seasonal effect) Verizon workers hadn’t gone on strike.
- September, +103K, which would have been +58K if the 45K Verizon workers hadn’t gone on strike and then returned to work.
I’ll look at the not seasonally adjusted (NSA) news to find out how things really are on the ground shortly.
UPDATE: Here’s what the NSA numbers look like after making Verizon strike-related adjustments for the purpose of seeing the bigger picture (adding back 45K to both charts in August, subtracting 45K from both in September):
What we generally see are months that don’t look awful, but still mostly trail in the historical context of the early and middle parts of the last decade. It’s also clear (pending revisions, of course) that September was not as strong as August, especially on an overall basis.
This is supposed to be a recovery from the loss of millions of jobs, and they’re just not coming back like they should. It needs to, and should be, running rings around the data of the previous decade because there’s so much unused potential. At this rate, millions people are going to remain unemployed for a long, long time.
UPDATE 2: Jobs certainly aren’t coming back like they did during the 1980s recovery. That comparison is coming. … Here it is:
Overall, the post-recession economy under Reagan added over 6.9 million jobs in the nine quarters after the 1980s recession ended — over eight times as many as have been added under Obama since the recession officially ended in June 2009. Adjusted for workforce size, the economy performed about 12-1/2 times better at adding jobs.
Focusing on the private sector, the post-recession economy under Reagan added over 6.5 million jobs in the same nine quarters — over 4.6 times as many as have been added under Obama in his analogous nine quarters. Adjusted for workforce size, the economy performed about seven times better at adding private-sector jobs.
This is why Keynesianism as a credible economic theory has collapsed.
UPDATE, 11:45 a.m.: Made adjustments to excluding-Verizon SA data to correct a misunderstanding of BLS’s +34K change in info processing jobs. I thought that was the SA Verizon effect, when is was the overall sector change. The conclusions don’t change.