Monday, September 7, 2009

Unemployment By The Numbers

It's Labor Day. Summer is over - kids are pretty much back to school. Autumn is around the corner, and many of us are unfortunately out of work.

It's not particularly cheery information for a Labor Day post, but ignoring this growing unemployment or candy coating what's happening around us is of no use either. The Associated Press put out this report at the end of August, Meltdown 101: Unemployment by the numbers which contains some very sobering statistics regarding labor and unemployment in our country.
The Department of Labor report released Friday showed job cuts in August were lower than they've been in recent months. But a deeper look at the data shows why it will take millions of new jobs to dig American workers out of this recession's deep pit.

Unemployment for teenagers stands at nearly 26 percent. More than 758,000 workers are so discouraged they quit looking for jobs altogether, near the biggest such number since the Department of Labor started tracking it in 1994. Damage continues to mount in the manufacturing, financial and construction sectors.

In all, some 14.9 million people are out of work and looking for a job.

This means it will take several quarters of economic growth to put the unemployed back to work. About 125,000 jobs need to be created each month just to keep up with the natural increase in the number of job seekers from immigration and population growth. Even if that number is surpassed in coming months, it will take a very long time to make up all the lost ground.

The data show that unemployment is deep, widespread and lasting longer than usual.

This is being termed the worst downturn in decades, and the stimulus that was rushed through Congress with the promise that it was going to stem growing unemployment has obviously not produced results. Employment is reported at 9.7% and has grown 4.7% since December 2007 - before the recession began. Some estimates even have employment to be as high as 16.8% as millions are NOT being counted in the official numbers. (ex: recent college graduates who cannot find employment)

Estimates are that the official numbers will go even higher, to 10% by year's end.

Here are some statistics from the labor report:
24.9 weeks: The average duration that unemployed workers are out of a job, near the highest level since the Department of Labor started tracking the figure in 1948.

4.98 million: The number of people unemployed longer than 27 weeks, also the highest level since World War II, although the growth in the size of the labor market over time contributes to that.

9 million: The number of workers forced to take part-time jobs who would rather work more hours.

25.5 percent: The unemployment rate among teenagers, the highest level on record since 1948, breaking the previous high of 24.1 set in 1982.

10.1 percent: The unemployment rate for men over age 20.

7.6 percent: The unemployment rate for women over age 20.

8.9 percent: The unemployment rate for white workers over 16 years old, short of the record 9.7 percent from 1982.

15.1 percent: The unemployment rate for black workers over 16 years old, far short of the record 21.2 percent from 1983.

13 percent: The unemployment rate for Latino workers over 16 years old, short of the record 15.7 hit in 1982.

1.4 million: The number of construction jobs lost since December 2007 as the housing crisis intensified.

65,000: The number of construction jobs lost in August, mostly in nonresidential and heavy construction.

537,000: The number of financial sector jobs lost since the recession began, including 28,000 shed in August.

829,000: The number of retail jobs lost since the recession started and consumers pulled back spending, including 10,000 lost in August.

Comments from Peter Schiff -

Enjoy your BBQ with hotdogs and trimmings today ... Tuesday it'll be back to work, or back to looking for work.

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