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Friday, December 13, 2013

The U.S. Employment Stats

This post first appeared on FloatingPath

The unemployment rate (U-3) decreased in November to 7.0% from 7.3% in October while the broader unemployment rate (U-6) decreased to 13.2% from 13.8%.

The labor force participation rate increased to 63.0% from 62.8%.

The employment-population ratio increased to 58.6% from 58.3%.

The labor force participation rate among all men increased in November to 69.4% from 69.2% in October. October reading was the lowest participation rate on record.

The labor force participation rate among all women increased to 57.0% from 56.9%.

Among production and non-supervisory employees, average weekly hours worked increased to 33.7 from 33.6 last month. Average hourly earnings increased to $20.31 from $20.28, making average weekly earnings of $684.45 from $681.41 last month.

The average duration of unemployment decreased in November to 37.2 weeks compared to 36.1 weeks in October.

I always include a longer time frame on this chart to provide some context of just how bad this recession has been for the long-term unemployed. This is still the leading employment indicator that shows how “this time is different.”

Percent of unemployed by duration:

  • Less than 5 weeks: 22.6% compared to 24.5% last month.
  • 5 to 14 weeks: 23.8% compared to 23.6% last month.
  • 15 to 26 weeks: 16.2% compared to 15.8% last month.
  • 27 weeks and over: 37.3% compared to 36.1% last month.

The unemployment rate of age groups:

  • 16 to 17: 23.7% compared to 24.1% last month.
  • 18 to 19: 19.2% compared to 21.1% last month.
  • 20 to 24: 11.6% compared to 12.5% last month.
  • 25 to 34: 7.4% compared to 7.3% last month.
  • 35 to 44: 5.7% compared to 5.8% last month.
  • 45 to 54: 5.5% compared to 5.9% last month.
  • 55+: 4.9% compared to 5.4% last month.

The unemployment rate for men decreased to 7.3% from 7.6%. The unemployment rate for women decreased to 6.7% from 6.9%.

The unemployment rate among all veterans in November was 6.7% from October’s 6.9%.

The unemployment rate among male veterans decreased to 6.5% from 6.7% last month. The wildly volatile female veteran unemployment rate was 8.0%, unchanged from last month.

Of the 4 racial groups tracked by the BLS, only Asians experienced a higher unemployment rate than the month prior:

  • White: 6.2% compared to 6.3% last month.
  • Black: 12.5% compared to 13.1% last month.
  • Asian: 5.3% compared to 5.2% last month.
  • Hispanic: 8.7% compared to 9.2% last month.

Unemployment rates by education level:

  • Less than a high school diploma: 10.8% compared to 10.9% last month.
  • High school graduates: 7.3% from 7.3% last month.
  • Some college or Associate degree: 6.4% from 6.3% last month.
  • Bachelor’s degree or higher: 3.4% from 3.8% last month.

November was an unusually positive month for those seeking full-time jobs. By counting the total number of employed persons by employment status, we find that +652k full-time jobs were added in November as compared with -623k full-time jobs in October. Part-time jobs shifted +174k in November as compared with a -127k change in October.

This is yet another dramatic shift in employment status figures, and is the third such in a row.

Full-time jobs remain well below their previous high. The cumulative change in part-time and full-time jobs since July 2007:

The total number of part-time employed in November were 27.452 million from 27.278 million in October. The total number of full-time persons were 116.928 million from 116.276 million last month.

This means that the ratio of full-time workers to total workers in November was 80.99%, a decrease from October’s 81.00%, and historically very low.

This was another mixed report, but relatively strong. Adding +203k jobs in a single month is a positive, especially when the jobs are well spread across industries.

But the average duration of unemployment increased again this month. It’s important to pay attention to the average length of unemployment because it’s reflective of a wide variety of factors built into the labor market.

The decline in full-time jobs that occurred in October is being blamed on the federal government shutdown, and perhaps correctly so, but significant gains in full-time employment occurred in September and November. In December’s report, we’ll be able to see if full-time jobs are really being added at rapid pace, or if it will just zigzag again and December will cancel out November’s full-time jobs gains.

Full table of employment changes in November:



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