Job losses far worse than reported

The headline September unemployment numbers were bad.

Payrolls dropped by 263,000 in September, exceeding the median forecast in Bloomberg’s survey, with losses extending from cash-strapped state and local governments to retailers to builders, today’s report showed. The jobless rate rose to 9.8 percent from 9.7 percent in August, while working hours matched a record low.

This is bad news across the board, and far worse than the numbers the markets expected yesterday. However, these reports dramatically understate just how bad the real numbers were.
For example, if you looked at the non-seasonally adjusted numbers, the labor force shrank by 1,280,000 in a single month! The participation rate in the workforce fell from 65.6% to 65.0%.

Jobless Rate in Michigan now at 15%, California hits unemployment rate Record

Fifteen states and the District of Columbia reported jobless rates of at least 10.0% in July

We have some eye catching headlines out of today's BLS regional and state unemployment survey. Firstly Michigan has an unemployment rate of 15%. California is now 11.9%, a record and Georgia is at 10.3%, also a record. Looking for new claims data?

More Auto Weirdness

Bob O has pointed out more on the auto employment weirdness to me. The mess that Greenspan made has some great writing on how the early shutdown of much of the auto industry due to the bankruptcies as GM and Chrysler is skewing the unemployment numbers.

Up until recently there was a very regular pattern to the late July shutdown in which a number of people would be laid off and then rehired. That didn't happen at the same time this year.

It's even clearer looking at the raw numbers.

About that "Drop" in the Unemployment Rate

A new report out from the BLS today reports that the unemployment rate fell from 9.5% in June to 9.4% in July.

As we've been covering here the weird situation with auto layoffs this year has played hell with the seasonal adjustment formula that the government uses to normalize numbers for regular seasonal ups and downs.

And when you look at the actual report (Table A-11) you can see that the there was no change in the nonadjusted unemployment rate, which held steady at 9.7%.

Seeking Alpha Author asks the obvious, why is the U.S. flooding the labor market with more immigration?

Boy this guy's got guts. There is no doubt in my mind he will be swarmed with insults for stating the obvious, but at least he begs the question.

In Eye on Unemployment: Should the U.S. Stop Immigration? Hunkar notes:

When the private sector created 100K jobs between May 1999 and May 2009, the annual issue of LPRs averaged 1 Million per year from 2000 to 2008. Both the private and public sector combined created 3.5 new jobs in the past decade.

This is simply far less than the 10 million immigrants admitted to the country. It must be noted that not all of the one million LPRs issued are working age adults. Some of them may have been here already with jobs when they became permanent residents.

Study shows over 30% I.T. Jobs being offshored

Computer World overviews some new data on just how badly I.T. jobs are being offshore outsourced or U.S. workers are displaced by foreigners on guest worker Visas.

Okay, so where are U.S. jobs going? What's the data show? Data prepared by Everest Group Inc., a research and outsourcing consulting firm, shows in broad brush fashion the shift of jobs overseas by some major IT services vendors. In 2006, U.S. and European firms typically had less than 20% of their workforces offshore; Now, for most companies that figure may well be generally over 30%.

Now check out the ethnicity of one Indian company operating in the United States:

The Wall Street Journal Argues for Brown Weeds

Here on the Economic Populist, dueling posts of green shoots, i.e. the recession is at a bottom and recovery will happen and brown weeds, i.e. it's getting worse and is most assuredly not a recovery, has been going on for some time.

Well, the Wall Street Journal, that holy bible of finance readers everywhere has stepped in and pronounced the ground salted and barren.

In the article, WSJ points out the average length of unemployment is higher than it's been since government began tracking the data in 1948.. The article then goes through the jobs numbers and shows why the real rate is much worse than what is being reported.

WOW! May nonfarm payrolls -345,000

As reported by the BLS this morning.

That is about 200,000 less job losses than had been predicted, and less than 50% of the job losses from a few months ago.

As the resident un-Cassandra around these parts, I hope I've earned a little respect with this report.

The unemployment rate, sadly, also continues to climb, at 9.4%, towards the 10%+ I predicted for July.