unemployment rate

Why Did The March Unemployment Rate Go Down When Only 120,000 Payroll Jobs Were Added?

The press and pundits shout the unemployment rate dropped to 8.2%, the lowest since January 2009, over three years ago. Yet March only added 120,000 jobs and those reported as employed dropped by -31,000. So, how could the official unemployment rate drop when the jobs added barely keeps up with population growth and the increase in those employed actually dropped?

Unemployment 8.2%, 120,000 Jobs for March 2012

The March 2012 monthly unemployment figures show the official unemployment rate dropped a 10th of a percentage point to 8.2%, and the total nonfarm payroll jobs gained was 120,000. These statistics are not the blow out most were hoping for. Total private jobs came in at 121,000. Government jobs dropped, -1,000. While manufacturing gained 37,000 jobs, retail trade, a category that includes retail sales clerks, dropped -33,800 jobs.

 

unemployment rate

 

Unemployment 8.3%, 227,000 Jobs for February 2012

The February 2012 monthly unemployment figures show the official unemployment rate remained the same, 8.3%, and the total jobs gained were 227,000. While this report is good news, we've got a long, long way to go before returning to a healthy labor market. Total private jobs came in at 233,000. Government jobs dropped, -6,000. Most of the jobs were in the service sector, 209,000.

The January Employment Report Shows Things Aren't as Rosy as Some Want to Believe

While the pundits and press gush over this month's employment report, things are still not rosy. The new official unemployed tally is 12,758,000. The average length of unemployment is still very high, 40.1 weeks.

 

average duration unemployment

 

People unemployed for 27 weeks or more is now 42.2% of the total unemployed, or 5,518,000 million. This number has barely budged as a percentage of total unemployed in comparison to pre-recession and historical levels.

Unemployment 8.3% for January 2012 - 243,000 Jobs, Really?

The January 2012 monthly unemployment figures show the official unemployment rate dropped -0.2 percentage points to 8.3% and the total jobs gained were 243,000. Total private jobs came in at 257,000. Government jobs dropped -14,000. Information jobs dropped by -13,000 and financial services payrolls dropped by -5,000. All other major job categories had payroll gains.Temporary jobs increased 20,100.

Unemployment 8.5% for December 2011 - 200,000 Jobs

The December 2011 monthly unemployment figures show the official unemployment rate dropped -0.2 percentage points to 8.5% and the total jobs gained were 200,000. Total private jobs came in at 212,000. Government jobs dropped -12,000. Temporary jobs also dropped -7,500. All other major job categories had payroll gains. Manufacturing gained a much needed 23,000 jobs.

 

Unemployment 9.1% for September 2011 - 103,000 Jobs

The September 2011 monthly unemployment figures show the official unemployment rate remained at 9.1% and the total jobs gained were 103,000. 45,000 of those jobs are not new jobs, but Verizon workers who returned back to work after being on strike. Total private jobs came in at 137,000. If one subtracts off the returning strikers, September showed 82,000 new private sector jobs. Government jobs dropped -34,000.

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