Real Number of People Needing a Good Job is 27.5 Million

The June employment report was crappy and not enough jobs to keep up with population growth. This overview shows the situation is even worse than what is typically reported. Officially there are 12.75 million people unemployed and the unemployment rate is 8.2%. We calculate below an alternative unemployment rate of 17%, which shows 27.5 million people need a full-time, real job.

We have a never ending long length of unemployment, even with people plain dropping out of the count. The average length of unemployment is 39.9 weeks and increased from last month's 39.7 weeks. The median time one is unemployed, which means 50% of people have gotten a job in this amount of time, decreased from 20.1 to 19.8 weeks.


average duration unemployment


People unemployed for 27 weeks or more remains at high levels of the total unemployed, 41.9%. That's 5.37 million people officially unemployed for over half a year, even though the percentage dropped 0.9 percentage points from May. Don't think this is that great of a sign, people are simply run out of unemployment benefits and then just drop out of being even counted as needing a job.



Some people are in part-time jobs because they want to be, others because they cannot find anything else. There are 8.21 million people stuck in part-time jobs because that's all they can get, an up-tick of 112 thousand from last month.

Some are stuck in part-time because their hours were cut by their employer. These part-timers due to slack work now number 5,446,000, an increase of 299 thousand from last month. Below is a graph of forced part-time because they got their hours cut as a percentage of the total employed. If you want to see a recession economic indicator, this looks like a pretty damn strong one. See how closely the percentage increase matches recessions, the gray bars? The percentage of people in part-time jobs due to slack economic conditions has stayed extremely high since the start of the Great Recession. We need a few months of slack work, hours cut back increases to show yet another recession is looming. That said, take the below graph as an precipice indicator.



U-6 is a broader measure of unemployment, includes the official unemployed, people stuck in part-time jobs and a subgroup not counted in the labor force but are available for work and looked in the last 12 months. U-6 has also remained consistently high and was 14.9% for June.



The real number of people wanting a job for June is 27.5 million, over double the official counted as unemployed of 12.75 million. One needs to add up the official unemployed, people stuck in part-time who need full-time jobs, and all of those people not in the labor force, but who report they actually want a job, currently at 6.52 million. Those not counted in the labor force but report they actually want and need a job increased by 229 thousand from May.



This gives an unemployment rate of 17.0%, calculated following the methods from this article on estimating the real unemployment numbers. April's alternative unemployment rate was 16.8%.


unemployment rate including part-time for economic reasons and not in labor force, want a job, June 2012


The marginally attached are people not in the labor force because they have not looked for a job in the last month, but have looked for a job in the last year. This number has ballooned since 2007 and not returned to pre-recession levels. The graph below is the number of people considered marginally attached to the labor force, currently at 2.483 million.



Discouraged workers are people, not counted as part of the civilian labor force, who not only want a job, but also looked for one in the last year. These people aren't job hunting for the last month because they believe there are no jobs out there. Discouraged workers are part of the marginally attached, yet report the reason they didn't look for a job in the last month is they believe there are no jobs out there. Below is the graph of discouraged workers, currently at 821 thousand. Artificially low by definition, the discouraged workers metric is useful as a barometer on what the job market feels like to people. That said, one would have to be a politician, pundit or lobbyist to deny the U.S. job market is pure crap for every single occupation in America right now. Notice the elevated state of discouraged workers.



A final area of contention is figuring out how many jobs are needed each month to keep up with population growth. Seems many in the press just throw out a number. We just don't know due to civilian non-institutional population fluctuation. We do know that overall population monthly growth has been hovering around 200,000 a month, this month the change was 189,000. We also know the civilian non-institutional population is roughly 75% of the total population. We also know the labor participation rates and employment to population ratios are artificially low. Therefore, it's safe to say we need about 100,000 jobs per month to keep up with population growth at these same labor participation rates. The Atlanta Fed got sick of the debate it seems and put up a monthly jobs calculator. This month we needed 97,000 jobs to keep up with population growth. As we can see payrolls are simply not even keeping up with population growth, never mind rehiring the millions who need work.

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Emphasis on GOOD JOB

Even when people find a job in today's America, they are often short-term, terminable within a day's notice, contract jobs with no benefits. Good luck trying to date someone, marry someone, settle down in one town or city, lease a car, lease an apartment or buy a house, have a pet, or, dream a dream - have a kid or two that you might want to raise as a good American who would actually think politicians or their masters are anything but the lowest of the low, with these new "jobs." This has also been preplanned. The puppets in the media were prepping the populace with all the "benefits" of terminate on-site contract jobs for the last decade (what do you mean you can't make a livable income when you're competing with other freelancers willing to work for $2/hr.). Shockingly, those jobs always seem to benefit the manager or CEO, never the worker bees who must find someway to feed themselves when they are terminated with no notice. But temp agencies that post fake jobs and HR asshats and CEO dolts make $$$, and if you don't look 24/7 365 for these jobs and take them when offered - you must be just another "lazy American" (per MSM). Oh, by the way, if you don't accept these jobs, you will be forced to pay for an internship to gain experience so that one day you might work for $1/hr. after min. wages are eliminated.
Whatever you do, don't ask why someone would ever pay a worker if workers can be forced to work for free, DC and corporate America don't like questioning or intelligent citizens aka "smartasses" - thus the deemphasis on real education and real thinking.
The Grapes of Wrath was Nirvana compared to this crap. Tom Joad is coming back real soon and he is mighty pissed off. Good for Tom, I look forward to it, along with many, many other screwed over Americans.

Great data and charts

Thanks for the great information and the charts. I always look forward to your analysis of the jobs numbers.

requests -r- us for job statistics

If anyone wants specific details on BLS data, please leave a comment. Unanswered question, observation? There is a lot of material to cover out of the BLS and then there is a huge problem with "missing" data, as well as the never ending problem of the CES and CPS differences. I'm curious to know what kind of unanswered details people want to know more about. Literally I could fill the site up with labor statistics graphs and one reason I have a tendency to ignore race statistics, esp. because those definitions are so "1960's". Today we need by immigration status. Because the BLS "Asian" statistics are front loaded with foreign guest workers and "Hispanics" are front loaded with illegals, about the only minority it's safe to bet are mostly U.S. citizens are "Blacks".