Friday, February 4, 2011


From The BLS
The unemployment rate fell by 0.4 percentage point to 9.0 percent in January, while nonfarm payroll employment changed little (+36,000), the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment rose in manufacturing and in retail trade but was down in construction and in transportation and warehousing. Employment in most other major industries changed little over the month.
The unemployment rate (9.0 percent) declined by 0.4 percentage point for the second month in a row. (See table A-1.) The number of unemployed persons decreased by about 600,000 in January to 13.9 million, while the labor force was unchanged. (Based on data adjusted for updated population controls. See table C.)
The mighty Captain Ed gives everyone the lowdown.

Frankly, this doesn’t make a lot of sense. If only 36,000 jobs were added and 600,000 people stopped being unemployed, then the labor force should show a significant contraction. The lower overall rate makes sense if 600,000 people left the workforce, but not if the workforce remained the same. Otherwise, we’d have to conclude that 36,000 jobs represents 0.4% of all employment in the US.
Looking at the A-6 table, which compares numbers January 2010 to January 2011 (not seasonally adjusted), we can see that the unemployment rate for those without disabilities has dropped from 10.4% to 9.7%.  The number of non-disabled adults outside the work force has grown substantially in that period, from 62.8 million to 64.7 million.  That far outstrips population growth and indicates that people are still leaving the work force in large numbers.  In the A-16 table for the same period (not seasonally adjusted), the number of people outside the workforce has grown from 83.9 million to 86.2 million, again showing a large increase.
Well as I said before if the unemployment rate goes down that means its time for a Gregalouge.

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