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%.
Even the seasonally-adjusted numbers show a drop of 785,000 amongst the ranks of the employed.

So how do they get away with saying the number of unemployed only rose by 263,000? They did it by increasing the number of people not in the labor force by 1,516,000 people. Remember, this adjustment is from just a single month.

The months of July and August were also revised to show an additional 13,000 job losses.

It doesn't end there. The BLS has gone back and adjusted past jobs reports. What did they find? Why 824,000 jobs that were supposed to exist just vanished.

For national CES employment series, the annual benchmark revisions over the last 10 years have averaged plus or minus two-tenths of one percent of total nonfarm employment. The preliminary estimate of the benchmark revision indicates a downward adjustment to March 2009 total nonfarm employment of 824,000 (0.6 percent).

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nice catch!

I guess you wrote up this while I was putting mine together.

No matter, I think we can handle two posts on this one!

Well, so much for all of those talking about this great "V" shaped recovery.

This is horrific. U6 is 17%! Now we have your analysis on how they are just reducing the total count by 1.5 million!

I have something that drives me nuts. The 2002 "jobless recovery". To me, that was no recovery. It was the housing bubble emerging to mask the collapse of the dot con bubble.

Seriously, how can they call finding another bubble a recovery, ignoring the unemployment rates...i.e. the U.S. worker, middle class is just getting hammered and still they do not have very specific policies for jobs for U.S. workers, U.S. workers preferred. It messes up their global labor arbitrage agenda, so ....we cannot get what we really need, which is kind of a WPA type program but for U.S. workers, preferred at minimum.

There's not much overlap

Your post and my post approach the unemployment news from different perspectives. So having two posts make sense in this case.

I think its become obvious that the so-called recovery has stalled. Lots of economic indicators turned down the last two weeks.
Just today, factory orders went negative when the markets expected them to be flat.
Yesterday the ISM came in low, and vehicle sales disappointed.
On Wednesday the PMI came in extremely low. On Tuesday consumer confidence dropped when it was expected to rise.
Last Friday durable goods orders dropped like a rock and new homes sales came in lower than expected. Last Thursday existing homes sales unexpectedly dropped. Last Monday the leading indicators came in lower than expected.

There is a trend developing that shows the so-called recovery is stalling, but you don't see anyone reporting it yet.

Factory orders, EIs

Yeah, I've got a lot of stuff going on so I've been slow on the uptake. I didn't even write up on durable goods being way down last week and caught the ISM hours after it had been released..

So, these new economic indicators I'm hoping all pick up the slack. I mean to write something insightful vs. copy and paste whatever bloomberg or whoever wrote up, at least for me, I have to read the actual release, plus at least locate some graphs and so on.

But it sure does look like a "W" or "L" to me, as suspected..(or worse).
that entire "V" looked like chart spin to me and I noticed something else, which I didn't want to call out because I don't like doing that...

but some analysts claimed the FDIC would never go broke. Jesus, it's not even at the 24% of the projected bank failures and it's already broke.

Anyway, doing EI translation for our readers, I know we have people reading EP looking for that quick take.

Amazing what a day makes.

Yesterday, some traditional business media outlets were talking about recovery with the quarterly improvement in consumption. Then today.

From EPI:

Since the start of the recession in December 2007, an estimated 8.0 million jobs have been lost. This number includes both the 7.2 million jobs lost in the payroll data as currently published plus the announced preliminary benchmark revision of -824,000 jobs to last March’s employment level. And even this number understates the magnitude of the hole in the labor market by failing to take into account the fact that the population is always growing. To keep up with population growth, the economy needs to add approximately 127,000 jobs every month, which translates into 2.7 million jobs over the 21 months since the start of the recession. This means the labor market is currently 10.7 million jobs below what's needed to return to the pre-recession unemployment rate. To demonstrate how large this gap is and the level of growth needed to bridge it, consider the following: in order to fully fill in the gap in the labor market by September 2011, employment would have to increase by an average of 573,000 jobs every month for the next two years straight.

"It's the level, stupid.." - Financial Information for the Rest of Us.

oh yeah

Just unbelievable and this might not be popular with some, but I think the labor economic realities of having 10-20 million illegal workers in the U.S. plus about 1.5 M foreign guest workers and I think it's about 2+ M new immigrants every year....well, you get the idea....that increases the labor supply, depresses wages, increases competition for jobs....

Ya know, I'm not a hard and faster or "hard liner" on this one, but hey, it's labor economics 101....just kind of sayin'.

I came across a new term: Geithnernomics

It is an economic policy that does just enough to support financial assets but does nothing for the rest of us especially in terms of employment and increased incomes.

Courtesy of 9.8%: Change you can believe in! - Financial Information for the Rest of Us.

Super post and here's the followup

Monumental post, ran across this at and here's the address at the Youtube site.