Tag Archives: Unemployment

“Not In Labor Force” Statistic – As Of March 2015

In the November 13, 2013 post (“Not In Labor Force Statistic“) I featured editorial commentary from the Wall Street Journal, as well as an accompanying long-term chart, with regard to the number of people not working.

Also, on February 9, 2015 I wrote another post titled “Unemployment And The ‘Not In Labor Force’ Statistic,” in which I discussed various facets of this measure.

Below is an updated chart regarding this statistic.  The current figure, last updated on March 6, 2015 depicting data through February 2015, is 93.686 million people (Not Seasonally Adjusted):

Not in Labor Force

Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis: Not In Labor Force [LNU05000000] ; U.S. Department of Labor: Bureau of Labor Statistics; accessed March 6, 2015;

http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/LNU05000000

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The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation

SPX at 2070.56 as this post is written

Unemployment And The “Not In Labor Force” Statistic

Employment and unemployment statistics can be interpreted in various manners, and as such the resulting conclusions often vary.  Due to the importance to both individuals and the economy at large, the overall topic of unemployment remains hotly contested.

At this point, it is widely recognized that recent “job gains” have been strong, and that the overall employment situation is getting stronger.  Various media sources have compared recent job gains to those seen in the 1990s, including this excerpt from a February 6 Bloomberg article:

Payroll gains averaged 336,000 over the last three months, the strongest since a comparable period ended in November 1997.

For reference, here is a chart of monthly gains from the CalculatedRisk post of February 6, 2015, titled “January Unemployment Report:  257,000 Jobs, 5.7% Unemployment Rate“:

CR 2-6-15 - EmployJan2015

Furthermore, Gallup’s U.S. Job Creation Index shows steady gains, as seen in the February 6 post titled “U.S. Job Creation Index Lingers Near Seven-Year High.”

However, is it true that the job market is “strong” and is poised for additional robust and sustainable gains, as seen in the February 7 Wall Street Journal article titled “Job Market Looks Ripe for Liftoff“?   There remains a variety of statistics that indicate highly disconcerting aspects, and as such there may be reasons to believe that gains in the employment situation are either not as robust as widely believed or that the purported recent gains are (substantially or totally) a mirage when compared to the “true” underlying condition.

As well, with regard to the future employment situation, there exists an array of highly worrisome dynamics.  While these many dynamics are numerous and many are complex – and as such aren’t suitably discussed in a brief manner – below are various comments.

While there are many types of unemployment statistics, and even more portraying accompanying income trends, the official Unemployment Rate (U-3) remains the most recognized and disseminated unemployment figure.  Currently that rate is 5.7%.

However, as I continue to believe that this figure is (highly) suboptimal for various reasons, I tend to focus on a broader mix of unemployment statistics.  One set of statistics I follow closely is seen in the “3 Critical Unemployment Charts” update.

Another unemployment measure that I have found notable is the “Not in (The) Labor Force” statistic.  Here is the description from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) page titled “Current Population Survey Frequently Asked Questions“:

Who is not in the labor force?

Persons not in the labor force are those who are not classified as employed or unemployed during the survey reference week.

Labor force measures are based on the civilian noninstitutional population 16 years old and over. (Excluded are persons under 16 years of age, all persons confined to institutions such as nursing homes and prisons, and persons on active duty in the Armed Forces.) The labor force is made up of the employed and the unemployed. The remainder—those who have no job and are not looking for one—are counted as “not in the labor force.” Many who are not in the labor force are going to school or are retired. Family responsibilities keep others out of the labor force.

Commentary from the Wall Street Journal editorial of October 23, 2013 concerning this statistic is titled “90 Million Americans Not Working.”

The current figure, last updated on February 6, 2015 depicting data through January 2015, is 93.674 million people (Not Seasonally Adjusted) :

not in labor force

US. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Not in Labor Force [LNU05000000], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis:

https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/LNU05000000/, February 6, 2015.

There are various aspects of the above “Not in Labor Force” measure that I continue to find worrisome, even when one takes into consideration various commonly cited factors regarding those retiring, those going back to school, etc.  One aspects that I find worrisome is the “parabolic” trajectory.  While this lengthy “parabolic trajectory” does not in itself “guarantee” any particular outcome, I view its formation and ascent to be disconcerting, especially since these types of “parabolic trajectories” often serve as an omen to future (substantially higher) values.

One question that arises is what fundamental factor(s) may cause the above-mentioned parabola to “explode” higher?  While, unfortunately, there are many different reasons to expect a substantial increase in the “Not in Labor Force” statistic, the largest increase will accompany, as well as contribute to, the “Next Financial Crisis.”

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The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation

SPX at 2055.47 as this post is written

“Not In Labor Force” Statistic – As Of December 2014

In the November 13, 2013 post (“Not In Labor Force Statistic“) I featured editorial commentary from the Wall Street Journal, as well as an accompanying long-term chart, with regard to the number of people not working.

Below is an updated chart regarding this statistic.  The current figure, last updated on December 5, 2014 depicting data through November 2014, is 92.547 million people (Not Seasonally Adjusted) :

Not In Labor Force

Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis: Not In Labor Force [LNU05000000] ; U.S. Department of Labor: Bureau of Labor Statistics; accessed December 6, 2014;

http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/LNU05000000

_____

The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation

SPX at 2075.37 as this post is written

“Not In Labor Force” Statistic – As Of September 2014

In the November 13, 2013 post (“Not In Labor Force Statistic“) I featured editorial commentary from the Wall Street Journal, as well as an accompanying long-term chart, with regard to the number of people not working.

Below is an updated chart regarding this statistic.  The current figure, last updated on September 5 depicting data through August, is 91.794 million people (Not Seasonally Adjusted) :

not in labor force

Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis: Not In Labor Force [LNU05000000] ; U.S. Department of Labor: Bureau of Labor Statistics; accessed September 8, 2014;

http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/LNU05000000

_____

The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation

SPX at 2007.71 as this post is written

“Not In Labor Force” Statistic – As Of June 2014

In the November 13, 2013 post (“Not In Labor Force Statistic“) I featured editorial commentary from the Wall Street Journal, as well as an accompanying long-term chart, with regard to the number of people not working.

Below is an updated chart regarding this statistic.  The current figure, last updated on June 6 depicting data through May, is 91.782 million people (Not Seasonally Adjusted) :

Not in Labor Force

Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis: Not In Labor Force [LNU05000000] ; U.S. Department of Labor: Bureau of Labor Statistics; accessed June 9, 2014;

http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/LNU05000000

_____

The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation

SPX at 1951.51 as this post is written

3 Critical Unemployment Charts – January 2014

As I have commented previously, as in the October 6, 2009 post (“A Note About Unemployment Statistics”), in my opinion the official methodologies used to measure the various job loss and unemployment statistics do not provide an accurate depiction; they serve to understate the severity of unemployment.

However, even if one chooses to look at the official statistics, the following charts provide an interesting (and disconcerting) long-term perspective of certain aspects of the officially-stated unemployment situation.

The first two charts are from the St. Louis Fed site.  Here is the Median Duration of Unemployment (current value = 17.1 weeks) :

(click on charts to enlarge images)(charts updated as of 1-10-14)

UEMPMED_1-10-14 17.1 weeks

Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis: Median Duration of Unemployment [UEMPMED] ; U.S. Department of Labor: Bureau of Labor Statistics; accessed January 10, 2014;

http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/UEMPMED

Here is the chart for Unemployed 27 Weeks and Over (current value =  3.878 million) :

UEMP27OV_1-10-14 3878

Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis: Civilians Unemployed for 27 Weeks and Over [UEMP27OV] ; U.S. Department of Labor: Bureau of Labor Statistics; accessed January 10, 2014;

http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/UEMP27OV

Lastly, a chart from the CalculatedRisk.com site, from the January 10 post titled “December Employment Report:  74,000 Jobs, 6.7% Unemployment Rate.”  This shows the employment situation vs. that of previous recessions, as shown:

CR 1-10-14 - EmployRecDec2013

As depicted by these charts, our unemployment problem is severe.  Unfortunately, there do not appear to be any “easy” solutions.

On April 24, 2012 I wrote a five-part blog post titled “The Unemployment Situation Facing The United States”, which discusses various problematical issues concerning the present and future employment situation.

_____

The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation

SPX at 1836.83 as this post is written

3 Critical Unemployment Charts – December 2013

As I have commented previously, as in the October 6, 2009 post (“A Note About Unemployment Statistics”), in my opinion the official methodologies used to measure the various job loss and unemployment statistics do not provide an accurate depiction; they serve to understate the severity of unemployment.

However, even if one chooses to look at the official statistics, the following charts provide an interesting (and disconcerting) long-term perspective of certain aspects of the officially-stated unemployment situation.

The first two charts are from the St. Louis Fed site.  Here is the Median Duration of Unemployment (current value = 17.0 weeks) :

(click on charts to enlarge images)(charts updated as of 12-6-13)

UEMPMED_12-6-13 17.0 weeks

Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis: Median Duration of Unemployment [UEMPMED] ; U.S. Department of Labor: Bureau of Labor Statistics; accessed December 6, 2013;

http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/UEMPMED

Here is the chart for Unemployed 27 Weeks and Over (current value =  4.066 million) :

UEMP27OV_12-6-13 4066

Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis: Civilians Unemployed for 27 Weeks and Over [UEMP27OV] ; U.S. Department of Labor: Bureau of Labor Statistics; accessed December 6, 2013;

http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/UEMP27OV

Lastly, a chart from the CalculatedRisk.com site, from the December 6 post titled “November Employment Report:  203,000 Jobs, 7.0% Unemployment Rate.”  This shows the employment situation vs. that of previous recessions, as shown:

CR 12-6-13 - EmployRecNov2013

As depicted by these charts, our unemployment problem is severe.  Unfortunately, there do not appear to be any “easy” solutions.

On April 24, 2012 I wrote a five-part blog post titled “The Unemployment Situation Facing The United States”, which discusses various problematical issues concerning the present and future employment situation.

_____

The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation

SPX at 1785.03 as this post is written

“Not In Labor Force” Statistic

I have extensively written about the unemployment problem in the United States, as I believe that the unemployment situation is severe and that various current and future aspects of the unemployment situation lack recognition.

One aspect is the number of people who are not working.

An excerpt from the Wall Street Journal editorial of October 23, 2013, titled “90 Million Americans Not Working” :

The U.S. now has 90.6 million “non-institutionalized” men and women over the age of 16 not working—an all-time high. That’s 10 million above the 80.5 million when President Obama took office. With total employment at 144.3 million, for every three Americans over the age of 16 earning a paycheck there are two who aren’t even looking for a job. That’s an ugly portent for American prosperity.

Demographics is about half the explanation as about six million baby boomers have turned 65 since 2008. Another is that young people are staying in school longer. Both trends are reinforced by the bearish job market. Even among those in their prime working years between 25 and 64, the number not working has increased by about 1.8 million since 2008. That is on top of the 11.3 million who are officially unemployed.

Here is a chart from the St. Louis Federal Reserve depicting the 90.6 million figure mentioned above (which, as of November 8, 2013 now stands at 91.463 million) :

LNU05000000_11-8-13 91463

Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis: Not In Labor Force [LNU05000000] ; U.S. Department of Labor: Bureau of Labor Statistics; accessed November 13, 2013;

http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/LNU05000000

_____

The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation

SPX at 1765.77 as this post is written

3 Critical Unemployment Charts – November 2013

As I have commented previously, as in the October 6, 2009 post (“A Note About Unemployment Statistics”), in my opinion the official methodologies used to measure the various job loss and unemployment statistics do not provide an accurate depiction; they serve to understate the severity of unemployment.

However, even if one chooses to look at the official statistics, the following charts provide an interesting (and disconcerting) long-term perspective of certain aspects of the officially-stated unemployment situation.

The first two charts are from the St. Louis Fed site.  Here is the Median Duration of Unemployment (current value = 16.3 weeks) :

(click on charts to enlarge images)(charts updated as of 11-8-13)

UEMPMED_11-8-13 16.3 weeks

Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis: Median Duration of Unemployment [UEMPMED] ; U.S. Department of Labor: Bureau of Labor Statistics; accessed November 8, 2013;

http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/UEMPMED

Here is the chart for Unemployed 27 Weeks and Over (current value =  4.063 million) :

UEMP27OV_11-8-13 4063

Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis: Civilians Unemployed for 27 Weeks and Over [UEMP27OV] ; U.S. Department of Labor: Bureau of Labor Statistics; accessed November 8, 2013;

http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/UEMP27OV

Lastly, a chart from the CalculatedRisk.com site, from the November 8 post titled “October Employment Report:  204,000 Jobs, 7.3% Unemployment Rate.”  This shows the employment situation vs. that of previous recessions, as shown:

CR 11-8-13 - EmployRecOct2013

As depicted by these charts, our unemployment problem is severe.  Unfortunately, there do not appear to be any “easy” solutions.

On April 24, 2012 I wrote a five-part blog post titled “The Unemployment Situation Facing The United States”, which discusses various problematical issues concerning the present and future employment situation.

_____

The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation

SPX at 1760.17 as this post is written

3 Critical Unemployment Charts – October 2013

As I have commented previously, as in the October 6, 2009 post (“A Note About Unemployment Statistics”), in my opinion the official methodologies used to measure the various job loss and unemployment statistics do not provide an accurate depiction; they serve to understate the severity of unemployment.

However, even if one chooses to look at the official statistics, the following charts provide an interesting (and disconcerting) long-term perspective of certain aspects of the officially-stated unemployment situation.

The first two charts are from the St. Louis Fed site.  Here is the Median Duration of Unemployment (current value = 16.3 weeks) :

(click on charts to enlarge images)(charts updated as of 10-22-13)

UEMPMED_10-22-13 16.3 weeks

Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis: Median Duration of Unemployment [UEMPMED] ; U.S. Department of Labor: Bureau of Labor Statistics; accessed October 22, 2013;

http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/UEMPMED

Here is the chart for Unemployed 27 Weeks and Over (current value =  4.146 million) :

UEMP27OV_10-22-13 4146

Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis: Civilians Unemployed for 27 Weeks and Over [UEMP27OV] ; U.S. Department of Labor: Bureau of Labor Statistics; accessed October 22, 2013;

http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/UEMP27OV

Lastly, a chart from the CalculatedRisk.com site, from the October 22 post titled “September Employment Report:  148,000 Jobs, 7.2% Unemployment Rate.”  This shows the employment situation vs. that of previous recessions, as shown:

CR 10-22-13 EmployRecSept2013

As depicted by these charts, our unemployment problem is severe.  Unfortunately, there do not appear to be any “easy” solutions.

On April 24, 2012 I wrote a five-part blog post titled “The Unemployment Situation Facing The United States”, which discusses various problematical issues concerning the present and future employment situation.

_____

The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation

SPX at 1756.24 as this post is written