The numbers provided by government
The government reported that the economy added 165,000 jobs in April, 2013. And the unemployment rate dropped to 7.5%.
Let let us look in the numbers released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to see the real state of employment (click here to access data prepared by the BLS).
(Numbers in thousand—all figures are seasonally adjusted)
Jan Feb March April
Civilian labor force: 155,654 155,524 155,028 155,238
Employed: 143,322 143,492 143,286 143,579
Unemployed: 12,332 12,032 11,742 11,659
Unemployment rate: 7.9% 7.7% 7.6% 7.5%
Not in Labor Force: 89,008 89,304 89,967 89,936
Not in Labor Force—
But want a job: 6,750 6,631 6,821 6,413
Numbers that stood out in this month’s report (from table A-8) is the number of people working part-time:
—the number of part-time workers due to non-economic reasons increased by 163,000 from 18.745 million to about 18.908 million.
—the number of part-time workers due to economic reasons (including unable to find full-time jobs) increased by 278,000 from 7.638 million to 7.916 million. These are people whose hours have been cut back or were unable to find full-time jobs.
Hence, in April, economy gained a net of 165,000 jobs while there were 278,000 more part-time jobs—a net loss of at least 123,000 full-time jobs. Why? Let’s assume all 165,000 new jobs were full-time positions, the economy then lost a total of 278,000 full-time jobs—i.e. 278,000 people had their hours cut back. If we assume 165,000 were all part-time jobs, then the economy lost 123,000 full-time jobs.
Also, the number of people not counted in labor force decreased by 69,000 and the government counted 408,000 less who were not in the labor force but wanted a job—and could not find one. This helps bringing the true number of unemployed persons down to 18,072,000 (11,659 + 6,413) in April. One must wonder what happened to these 408,000. Did they really give up looking for jobs?
The good, bad and ugly news in the employment market
The good news is the economy added a net gain of 165,000 jobs—though part-time jobs. Even so, with over 18 million wanting a job, it will take over 100 months at this rate of 165,000 a month.
The bad news is the number of part-time workers stayed at a high level 26,824,000. This Obama economy is full of part-time jobs—once may ask “where is the beef?” in the job market. And the really bad news is the net loss of 123,000 full-time jobs.
The ugly news is the trend of shifting to part-time jobs in this economy has continued. This may be due to companies avoiding the health-care benefits to their employees—can we all say ObamaCare!
That recovery summer is finally coming?