BLS Employment Report

Suddenly 647,000 More Jobs Appear in the January Employment Report

The December to January BLS employment report is always a strange beast.  Yet this year we magically have gained 647,000 jobs which previously did not exist.  Below is the difference between the previously reported jobs in December to the payroll tally for January 2013.

 

Payrolls Tread Water Once Again in December 2012

The BLS unemployment report shows total nonfarm payroll jobs gained were 155,000 for December 2012. October was revised down by 1,000 to 137,000 job and November was revised up, from 146,000 to 161,000 in employment gained. Many in the press are implying this is a good report when the monthly gain represents the very weak job growth America have been experiencing for the last two years.

 

Unemployment Rate 7.8% and Unemployed Duration Drops for December 2012

The BLS employment report shows a 7.8% unemployment rate for December. November was revised up from a 7.7% to 7.8% unemployment rate, but due to a change in the BLS annual seasonal adjustment revisions. This article overviews the statistics from the Current Population Survey of the employment report and the words to describe December are little change.

 

America's Payrolls add 146,000 Jobs for November 2012

The BLS unemployment report shows total nonfarm payroll jobs gained were 146,000 for November 2012. But there is hidden bad news in this report. October payroll gains were revised down, from 171,000 to 138,000. September payrolls were also revised down from 148,000 to 132,000. The below graph shows the monthly change in nonfarm payrolls employment.

 

Unemployment Rate 7.7% Due to Less People in the Labor Force for November 2012

The BLS employment report shows the unemployment rate ticked down by 0.2 percentage points to 7.7%. The reason for the unemployment rate decrease is less people participated in the labor force in November. Superstorm Sandy had little effect on the monthly employment figures.

The Details of the October 2012 Employment Report Show Payrolls Paint Not Such a Rosy Picture

The BLS unemployment report shows total nonfarm payroll jobs gained were 171,000 for October 2012. September payrolls were revised from 114,000 to 148,000 and August was also revised upward, from 142,000 to 192,000. The below graph shows the monthly change in nonfarm payrolls employment.

 

Current Population Survey Employment Report in Graphs, Unemployment Rate 7.9% for October 2012

The BLS employment report shows the unemployment rate ticked up by 0.1 percentage points to 7.9%. The reason for this up-tick is more people participated in the labor force in October. We love economic eye candy at The Economic Populist and this overview graphs many of the statistics from the Current Population Survey of the employment report.

 

A Look at September's Payrolls from the Employment Report

The BLS unemployment report shows total nonfarm payroll jobs gained were 114,000 for September 2012 and the unemployment rate dropped to an artificial 7.8%. Some better news was August's payrolls were revised up by 40,000 jobs to 181,000 and July was also revised up by 46,000 jobs to show a gain of 142,000 in nonfarm payrolls. The below graph shows the monthly change in nonfarm payrolls employment.

 

Exploring the Wild, Weird World of Employment Numbers From Statistical Space

It's like someone pulled the unemployment rate out of a Star Trek transporter, as if America entered a time warp machine and we moved to another dimension through a worm hole. A 0.3 percentage point drop to 7.8% makes no sense when there were only 114,000 jobs added. Captain, can the unemployment rate be right and we really did defy the laws of statistics?

We want to point to something which might in part explain what happened this month with the household survey statistics. That is how long someone holds a job. We don't have monthly statistics on job tenure, yet it could very well be that finally, people are working longer at a job. The never ending Schindler's List attitude towards U.S. workers may have abated. The U.S. has disposable worker syndrome, where people are laid off and fired for no damn good reason at all. It's a fact of the American work life while one has a job one week, there is no guarantee one will have a job the next.

To wit, let's look at another obscure BLS statistic, labor force status flows. This is the number of people flowing from being in the labor force, out of the labor force, employed and unemployed on a monthly basis. Below is a graph of the monthly changes of people who moved into employment from already having a job, not being counted at all, or being part of the official unemployed since 2006.

flows to employment

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