Bureau of Labor Statistics

Chicago Ties Birmingham, Alabama, For Highest Jobless Rate Among Large Metro Areas In December

This morning the U.S. Department of Labor handed the Chicago metropolitan area some bad news on the employment front. From a Bureau of Labor Statistics news release this morning entitled “Metropolitan Area Employment And Unemployment- December 2016”:

Of the 51 metropolitan areas with a 2010 Census population of 1 million or more, Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, Mass.-N.H., had the lowest unemployment rate in December, 2.5 percent, followed by Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, Colo., 2.6 percent, and Salt Lake City, Utah, 2.7 percent. Birmingham-Hoover, Ala., and Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, Ill.-Ind.-Wis., had the highest jobless rates among the large areas, 5.4 percent each.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Worrisome.

You can read the entire BLS news release here (.pdf format).

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Wednesday, February 1st, 2017 Business, Employment, Government Comments Off on Chicago Ties Birmingham, Alabama, For Highest Jobless Rate Among Large Metro Areas In December

Most Americans’ Incomes Fell Last Year, Except For Highest Earners

Here’s some economic data many Americans might not be too pleased to learn about. From an April 2 new release on the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics website, entitled “Consumer Expenditures Survey Midyear Update News Release”:

Average incomes fell for a second year, showing a decrease of 0.9 percent…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

The BLS pointed out that average income before taxes suffered a -.9 percent change between July 2012-June 2013 ($65,029) and July 2013-June 2014 ($64,432)

The news release also illustrated the percent change in income before taxes between July 2012-June 2013 and July 2013-June 2014 for five different U.S. income quintiles. It wasn’t pretty:

• Lowest 20th percentile, $10,174 to $9,818, -3.5 percent
• Second 20th percentile, $27,094 to $26,369, -2.7 percent
• Third 20th percentile, $47,017 to $45,724, -2.8 percent
• Fourth 20th percentile, $75,990 to $74,410, -2.1 percent
• Highest 20th percentile, $164,647 to $166,048, 0.9 percent

A number of entities are using the data in an attempt to demonstrate growing income inequality in the U.S.

However, I see these numbers and think, further evidence of America’s poor economic health.

You can view the entire news release on the BLS website here.

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Monday, April 6th, 2015 Government, Income, Main Street, Wealth Comments Off on Most Americans’ Incomes Fell Last Year, Except For Highest Earners

November Jobs Report ‘Rather Sucked’?

While researching an earlier post, I came across quite a few glowing mainstream media headlines concerning the release of the lastest U.S. employment numbers.

“Strong” was the adjective used most to describe the November jobs report.

Although television personality and CNBC Mad Money host went so far as to call it “kind of perfect”:


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So, was November really “kind of perfect” for employment in the U.S.?

Or, is the devil in the details- once again?

From the Bureau of Labor Statistics “Employment Situation Summary” this morning:

The unemployment rate declined from 7.3 percent to 7.0 percent in November, and total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 203,000, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment increased in transportation and warehousing, health care, and manufacturing…

Both the number of unemployed persons, at 10.9 million, and the unemployment rate, at 7.0 percent, declined in November. Among the unemployed, the number who reported being on temporary layoff decreased by 377,000. This largely reflects the return to work of federal employees who were furloughed in October due to the partial government shutdown.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

Ah, returning federal workers who were furloughed. As to how many, Paul Davidson chimed in on the USA TODAY website:

Unemployment rose in October because the federal government furloughed about 450,000 workers during the 16-day shutdown. The jobless rate, in turn, was expected to fall in November as those employees were back at work.

Ah, 450,000 returning government workers.

Anyone else detect a horned figure among the employment data?

As for the 203,000 jobs created in November, I wonder how many are low-paying ones? I just thought I’d ask, considering what Chris Isidore wrote on the CNN Money website this morning about this year’s hiring trends:

So in what sectors have the jobs been created? Nearly 1 million of the jobs have come in relatively low-wage sectors. These include retail, leisure and hospitality, temporary workers and some segments of health care such as home health care and nursing homes. That’s almost half the jobs added.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

Just tallying up those areas mentioned by Isidore, I already get 64,000 jobs. Considering there are other low-paying job areas not mentioned by Isidore but part of the report- couriers and messengers (9,000 new jobs last month), for example- and it becomes obvious a lot of low-paying jobs were created once again in November.

As I pointed out back on November 7, 2012:

Burger flippers won’t be spearheading a U.S. economic recovery anytime soon.

President Obama and his supporters like to talk up job creation. But as Isidore also pointed out:

Even with three straight years of adding more than 2 million jobs, the economy has not recovered from the huge loss of nearly 9 million jobs in 2008 and 2009.

The economy will need to add an additional 1.3 million jobs to get back to how many people had jobs when the recession started. And the U.S. adult population has grown by more than 13 million people in those six years. So even getting back to the number of jobs before the recession won’t get the economy completely out of the hole. The Economic Policy Institute calculates the overall jobs shortfall is still at nearly 8 million jobs.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

“The overall jobs shortfall is still at nearly 8 million jobs.”

I know- it’s all Bush’s fault, right?

Before I let you go, keep in mind the following that was also pointed out by the folks over at CNN Money in a related piece this morning. Annalyn Kurtz reported:

Only about 63% of Americans over the age of 16 participate in the job market — meaning they either have a job or are looking for one. That’s nearly the lowest level since 1978, driven partly by Baby Boomers retiring, but also by workers simply giving up hope.

That would help explain all these working-age adults I see driving around during the day in the Chicagoland area who don’t seem to be heading in to or out of some workplace.

I was still a young kid back in ’78. But I’ve asked people who were old enough to know back then what they thought about economic conditions at that time.

Unanimously, they thought they “rather sucked.”

Which could also be said of employment conditions and the jobs report from last month.

You can read the entire November jobs report on the BLS website here.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Sources:

Davidson, Paul. “Nov. job gains, 203,000: jobless rate, 7.0%.” USA TODAY. 6 Dec. 2013. (http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2013/12/06/jobs-report-november/3881983/). 6 Dec, 2013.

Isidore, Chris. “Five key numbers behind the jobs recovery.” CNN Money. 6 Dec. 2013. (http://money.cnn.com/2013/12/06/news/economy/jobs-numbers/index.html?iid=lead2). 6 Dec. 2013.

Kurtz, Annalyn. “Unemployment falls to 7%.” CNN Money. 6 Dec. 2013. (http://fox43.com/2013/12/06/unemployment-falls-to-7/#axzz2miKFbxKf). 6 Dec. 2013.

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Friday, December 6th, 2013 Employment, Government, Political Parties, Recovery Comments Off on November Jobs Report ‘Rather Sucked’?

Chicago-Area Unemployment Rate Rises To 9.7 Percent In July

There was good and bad news yesterday for the Chicago metro area concerning employment. First, the good. From a Thursday news release on the Illinois Department of Employment Security website concerning jobs and payrolls in July 2013:

Jobs increased in four metros and declined in eight. Largest increases: Champaign-Urbana (+2.4 percent, +2,400), Chicago-Joliet-Naperville (+1.9 percent, +69,800), and Kankakee-Bradley (+0.5 percent, +200). Industry sectors increasing in the most metros: Leisure and Hospitality (eight of 12) and Educational and Health Services (seven of 12).

69,000 more jobs in July for the Chicago area compared to a year ago. Good to hear.

And the bad? Also from that release:

July local unemployment rates fell in seven of 12 metro areas, according to preliminary data released today by the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES). Not seasonally adjusted data compares July 2013 to July 2012. Largest decreases: Metro East ( 1.0 point to 8.6 percent), Lake County (-0.4 to 8.4 percent) and Rockford ( 0.3 to 11.4 percent). Largest increases: Decatur (+1.9 points to 13.2 percent), Peoria (+1.4 to 9.4 percent), Danville (+1.2 to 11.8 percent) and Chicago-Joliet-Naperville (+0.3 to 9.7 percent).

The Chicagoland unemployment rate increased .3 percent last month to 9.7 percent when compared to July 2012. Not so good.

And even though local unemployment rates fell in a number of metro areas across the “Land of Lincoln” last month, when Illinois was matched up against the other 50 states, it had the second highest unemployment rate in the country- 9.2 percent– after Nevada (9.5 percent).

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics website, 8 states had an unemployment rate under 5 percent last month – Iowa (4.8 percent), Utah, Vermont, Wyoming (all 4.6 percent), Hawaii (4.5 percent), Nebraska (4.2 percent), South Dakota (3.9 percent), and North Dakota (3.0 percent)

Neighbors Wisconsin and Indiana came in at numbers 20 (6.8 percent) and 39 (8.4 percent), respectively.

You can read the entire IDES new release on their website here.

You can view the July 2012 unemployment rates for all 50 states on the BLS website here.

By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Friday, August 23rd, 2013 Employment Comments Off on Chicago-Area Unemployment Rate Rises To 9.7 Percent In July

49,000 Fewer Jobs In September, October Than Previously Reported

“171,000 jobs added in October; jobless rate 7.9%”

USA TODAY website, November 2, 2012

“Obama Says October Jobs Report Shows ‘Real Progress’”

-ABC News website, November 2, 2012

“October jobs report: The economy is doing better than we thought”

Washington Post website, November 2, 2012

“Jobs report may help Obama in tight election race”

-Reuters website, November 2, 2012

Back on November 2, 2012, the federal government informed the public that 171,000 jobs were added in October.

And 148,000 jobs were added in September.

As it turns out, those employment numbers were overstated. By 49,000 jobs, no less.

Somehow, I don’t think many readers of this blog are going to be surprised to hear that.

From a Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Situation Summary released earlier today:

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for September was revised from +148,000 to +132,000, and the change for October was revised from +171,000 to +138,000.

171,000 jobs down to 138,000 in October? That’s tens of thousands of jobs the Obama administration was given credit for creating even though (we now know) they never even existed. I’m sure that 171,000 number helped sway a number of undecided voters over to the Democrats’ camp.

I’ve heard it said before. “Barack Obama is the luckiest U.S. President ever.” And I might agree based on the above if I weren’t also convinced the next four years will be an incredibly-trying time for the nation, much less the White House.

President Obama is going to need all the luck he can get keeping our economy and financial system afloat- among other things.

You can read the entire December BLS jobs report on their website here.

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Friday, December 7th, 2012 Employment, Government, Political Parties Comments Off on 49,000 Fewer Jobs In September, October Than Previously Reported
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