Unemployment (U.S.)

guardian.co.uk  Sep 14  Comment 
The latest jobs data makes it hard to believe Britain voted to leave the European Union less than three months ago Record levels of employment. Plenty of jobs to be had but generous pay rises hard to come by. Britain’s labour market after the...
newratings.com  Sep 14  Comment 
LONDON (dpa-AFX) - British unemployment rate held steady in July, while claimant count rose more-than-expected in August, figures from the Office for National Statistics showed Wednesday. The ILO jobless rate was 4.9 percent, unchanged from the...
WA Business News  Sep 14  Comment 
Consumer confidence has experienced a relatively stable six months, while economists expect the unemployment rate to have remained steady at 5.7 per cent in August.
guardian.co.uk  Sep 14  Comment 
Number of people out of work falls again, but average earnings grew more slowly over the summer Oil slips despite surprise fall in US crude stocks Unemployment rate remains at 4.9% Concerns that real wages are falling Jobless total falls by...
Clusterstock  Sep 12  Comment 
The most crucial part of the eurozone's economic cycle right now — wage growth — is crumbling. Karen Ward, chief European economist at HSBC, said in a note to clients on Monday that while unemployment is falling across the eurozone, the fact...
Reuters  Sep 12  Comment 
Elizabeth Huber lost her job inspecting oilfield pipes nearly 20 months ago and her prospects remain bleak even as oil executives cautiously plot production and budget increases.
CANOE.ca  Sep 9  Comment 
The Canadian job market rebounded in August, gaining back much of the ground lost in July.
Benzinga  Sep 9  Comment 
USD/CAD is trading at 1.2996, up 0.0076. The pair is trading brisk and at session highs. Market chatter global headline news and economic data is making the rounds. Statistics Canada reported that August unemployment rose to 7.0 percent...
newratings.com  Sep 9  Comment 
BRUSSELS (dpa-AFX) - Switzerland's jobless rate rose marginally in August, the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs said Friday. The jobless rate increased to a seasonally adjusted 3.4 percent from 3.3 percent in July. On an unadjusted...




RELATED WIKI ARTICLES
 
TOP CONTRIBUTORS

This article is about unemployment in the U.S. To read more about unemployment in other countries, see Unemployment (disambiguation).

Unemployment and employment are closely watched economic indicators. A low rate of unemployment often raises inflation fears, due to potential labor shortages. High unemployment raises fears of recession. Strong job growth means prosperity. Job losses, recession. The chart to the right shows the annual unemployment rate from 1948 through 2007.

In looking at unemployment and employment there is ample room for confusion. Two separate and distinct measures of unemployment are often reported in the media, as well as two separate and distinct measures of employment. Each indicator has value, but must be understood correctly. All four are reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Unemployment

  • The “Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims Report” is often cited in the press, with a focus on “initial claims” for benefits. An increase or decrease is popularly taken as a portent of the direction of the economy. A seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate is also reported weekly. This measure of unemployment is not equivalent to the unemployment rate that is reported on a monthly basis by the BLS for several reasons: (1) Not all persons are covered by Federal or State unemployment insurance programs. (2) Some who are covered don’t file claims. (3) Some are still unemployed when their benefits run out and they drop out of the program.
  • A broader unemployment rate is estimated on a monthly basis by the BLS. The data that form the basis for the unemployment rate are gathered through a monthly survey of 60,000 households. This is called the Current Population Survey (CPS). The reference period is the week that includes the 12th day of the month. This is the unemployment rate that is used when economists and market analysis look at trends over time. Note that both measures of unemployment are revised annually, resulting in changes in previously reported unemployment rates.

Definitions and Discussion

The unemployed are defined by the BLS as “persons aged 16 years and older who had no employment during the reference week, were available for work, except for temporary illness, and had made specific efforts to find employment sometime during the 4-week period ending with the reference week.”

The unemployment rate is the number of unemployed as a percent of the labor force. The labor force consists of employed and unemployed persons. It is sometimes called the “civilian labor force” because it excludes people in the armed forces.

The size of the labor force varies over time due to economic conditions and changes in the number of working age people. When the economy is strong more people are apt to look for work and the size of the labor force swells. This could drive up the unemployment rate even when employment is growing. On the other hand, when jobs are scarce some people give up looking for work, which can result in a decline in the unemployment rate even as the economy weakens.

As the Baby Boom generation retires the size of the labor force might shrink, although a strong flow of young people into the labor force (the “Echo Boom” generation) and immigrants have the potential to keep the size of the labor force high enough. Many Baby Boomers may also delay the age at which they retire.

Illegal immigration is a complicating factor in the estimation of the number of employed and unemployed in this country. This “shadow labor force” is not well accounted for.

Employment

  • In the CPS (the survey of 60,000 households) each employed person is counted only once, even if he or she holds more than one job. Excluded are persons whose only activity consisted of work around their own house (painting, repairing, or own home housework) or volunteer work for religious, charitable, and other organizations. The employed include paid employees and those who work in their own business
  • The BLS also conducts the Current Employment Statistics (CES) survey of 390,000 business establishments. It yields a detailed breakdown of employment, hours and earnings for all major industrial sectors (except agriculture) and subgroups each month. When analysts talk about change in manufacturing jobs, for example, they are referring to the CES survey. The CES says nothing about unemployment.

The two surveys show different levels of employment and employment growth and have on occasion been contradictory due to the different samples and survey methodologies.

Unemployment Rate Since 1948
Unemployment Rate Since 1948
Wikinvest © 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012. Use of this site is subject to express Terms of Service, Privacy Policy, and Disclaimer. By continuing past this page, you agree to abide by these terms. Any information provided by Wikinvest, including but not limited to company data, competitors, business analysis, market share, sales revenues and other operating metrics, earnings call analysis, conference call transcripts, industry information, or price targets should not be construed as research, trading tips or recommendations, or investment advice and is provided with no warrants as to its accuracy. Stock market data, including US and International equity symbols, stock quotes, share prices, earnings ratios, and other fundamental data is provided by data partners. Stock market quotes delayed at least 15 minutes for NASDAQ, 20 mins for NYSE and AMEX. Market data by Xignite. See data providers for more details. Company names, products, services and branding cited herein may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners. The use of trademarks or service marks of another is not a representation that the other is affiliated with, sponsors, is sponsored by, endorses, or is endorsed by Wikinvest.
Powered by MediaWiki