The August 2011 monthly unemployment figures show the official unemployment rate remained at 9.1% and the total jobs gained were 0. That's right, zero. Total private jobs came in at 17,000 with government jobs dropping -17,000.
Below is the nonfarm payroll, the total number of jobs, seasonally adjusted. Since the start of the great recession, declared by the NBER to be December 2007, the United States has officially lost 6.85 million jobs. That does not take into account additional jobs needed to employ the United States increased population, but does include the jobs added over the over 3 and a half years, or 44 month time period.
Below is a running tally of how many official jobs permanently lost since the official start of this past recession (recall the private NBER has declared the recession over!). This is a horrific tally and notice this isn't taking into account increased population growth, which implies the United States needs to create at least 10.8 million jobs or self-employment. This estimate assume a 62.7% civilian non-institutional population to employment ratio, as it was in December 2007, which implies an additional 3.94 million jobs needed over a 3.42 month time period.
If one takes the current civilian non-institutional population and the December 2007 to employment ratio and then subtracts off the current number of payroll jobs, the number of jobs to get to pre-recession levels is much worse, 16.1 million jobs. This doesn't take into account population subset fluctuations, for example, those retired percentages increasing. This isn't taking into account agriculture workers and self-employed, currently at 2.36 million and 8.55 million, respectfully. Bear in mind payrolls only counts nonfarm jobs and many people work 2 to 3 jobs to get by. Part-time workers are at record highs with 8.83 million of the 27.03 million part-timers working low hours because they cannot get full time jobs.
Striking Verizon workers, who are not really unemployed, made it into both the CPS and establishment surveys. Supposedly an artificial 45,000 jobs were missing from non-farm payrolls due to the timing of surveys and the strike. Even if these workers are added back into the count, payrolls jobs is still within the margin or error and shows no job growth.
The increasingly low labor participation rate is now at 64%. If we go back to December 2007, the labor participation rate was 66%. The highest civilian labor participation rate was in January 2000, at 67.3%. What this means is there are over 4.8 million people not be accounted for in the official unemployment rate, in other words counted as employed or unemployed, who probably need a job and can't find one. That's in addition to the 13.97 million of the official unemployed.
The employment to population ratio is now 58.2% which is at record lows. You have to go back to August 1983 to find such low ratios. This was when a severe recession occurred. The uber-low ratios are not a structural change, such as all families decided to have a stay at home caretaker, or magically a host of people could retire early, this is people dropping out of the count. They need a job, but stopped looking, fell off of the rolls, stop being counted.
These numbers are important because unemployment is a ratio, percentage or during a limited time period, the number of people actively looking for a job and counted. Many people are not counted in the official unemployment statistics, due to definitions, but obviously when one has more potential workers and less jobs, that metric doesn't bode well for America.
One needs at least 98,000 and some estimate up to 375,000 permanent full time jobs, added each month just to keep pace with U.S. civilian workforce population growth. That's not general population, that's the group needing a job.
This unemployment report literally is a big fat zero on jobs and even if one negates the Verizon strike, doesn't have enough jobs to keep up with population growth. It's so dismal maybe now, politicians will realize we have a jobs crisis going on for over 44 months!