Dismal jobs numbers

Steve McCann
One of the most confusing and distorted statistics coming out of Washington today is the monthly unemployment situation.   More and more Americans are waking up to the reality of the job market when the curtain is drawn back and the actual situation are revealed within the jobs report as issued by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

A comparison of certain statistics between January of 2009 (when Barack Obama was inaugurated) and April of 2012 reveals the depth of the job debacle in the United States.

In January of 2009 the CNP (Civilian Noninstitutional Population--those 16 years of age and older not in various institutions (i.e. prisons or nursing facilities) and not on active duty in the military) was 234.7 million.  By April 2012 this had increased to 242.6 million, a population growth of 7.8 million.  

The BLS calculates what they refer to as the Civilian Labor Force which is those who have jobs and are seeking jobs.   Those the BLS estimates are not seeking work are not included.   In January 2009 the labor force was 153.5 million.   In April 2012 it is 154.7 million.  An increase of just 1.2 million while the overall eligible population (CNP) increased 7.8 million.   6.6 million potential job seekers are no longer counted.

The ratio of those in the Civilian Labor Force as compared to the Civilian Noninstitutional Population is referred to as the Labor Force Participation Rate.   In January 2009 it was 65.4% as compared to 63.6% in April 2012, the lowest since early 1981.

If the Labor Force Participation Rate were the same as in January 2009 then in April the actual unemployment rate would be 10.7% not 8.1%.

Within the actual sphere of jobs there are some vital statistics as well.

Using the Establishment data issued by the BLS in January 2009 134.4 million people were on nonfarm payrolls.  In April 2012 just 133.0 million -- a loss of 1.4 million. 

The bulk of the loss was in the well-paying goods producing sector where 1.8 million jobs have been eliminated.   In the overall service sector a net 300,000 jobs have been created. 

Within the service sector all the growth has been in healthcare and social assistance (900,000), temporary help services (519,000), leisure and hospitality (330,000) and the federal government (137,000).   All, with the exception of federal government jobs, are in the lower income strata.  The higher paying jobs in the service sector have seen a major erosion.  

Those recent college graduates need go no further to determine why they cannot find good paying jobs or why 1 in 2 are either unemployed or underemployed.

Regardless of what part of the monthly unemployment report the mainstream media chooses to report the overall job market is dismal and will not improve anytime soon; in fact in all likelihood it will continue to deteriorate.

One of the most confusing and distorted statistics coming out of Washington today is the monthly unemployment situation.   More and more Americans are waking up to the reality of the job market when the curtain is drawn back and the actual situation are revealed within the jobs report as issued by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

A comparison of certain statistics between January of 2009 (when Barack Obama was inaugurated) and April of 2012 reveals the depth of the job debacle in the United States.

In January of 2009 the CNP (Civilian Noninstitutional Population--those 16 years of age and older not in various institutions (i.e. prisons or nursing facilities) and not on active duty in the military) was 234.7 million.  By April 2012 this had increased to 242.6 million, a population growth of 7.8 million.  

The BLS calculates what they refer to as the Civilian Labor Force which is those who have jobs and are seeking jobs.   Those the BLS estimates are not seeking work are not included.   In January 2009 the labor force was 153.5 million.   In April 2012 it is 154.7 million.  An increase of just 1.2 million while the overall eligible population (CNP) increased 7.8 million.   6.6 million potential job seekers are no longer counted.

The ratio of those in the Civilian Labor Force as compared to the Civilian Noninstitutional Population is referred to as the Labor Force Participation Rate.   In January 2009 it was 65.4% as compared to 63.6% in April 2012, the lowest since early 1981.

If the Labor Force Participation Rate were the same as in January 2009 then in April the actual unemployment rate would be 10.7% not 8.1%.

Within the actual sphere of jobs there are some vital statistics as well.

Using the Establishment data issued by the BLS in January 2009 134.4 million people were on nonfarm payrolls.  In April 2012 just 133.0 million -- a loss of 1.4 million. 

The bulk of the loss was in the well-paying goods producing sector where 1.8 million jobs have been eliminated.   In the overall service sector a net 300,000 jobs have been created. 

Within the service sector all the growth has been in healthcare and social assistance (900,000), temporary help services (519,000), leisure and hospitality (330,000) and the federal government (137,000).   All, with the exception of federal government jobs, are in the lower income strata.  The higher paying jobs in the service sector have seen a major erosion.  

Those recent college graduates need go no further to determine why they cannot find good paying jobs or why 1 in 2 are either unemployed or underemployed.

Regardless of what part of the monthly unemployment report the mainstream media chooses to report the overall job market is dismal and will not improve anytime soon; in fact in all likelihood it will continue to deteriorate.