Thursday, February 25, 2010
How Many People Are Unemployed in America
I was completely shocked at the total number of unemployed in this country. I listen to the news and the radio and I also read a lot on line as well. I was dismayed that it really does seem that these numbers are presented to us on a daily basis in the most inane and misleading way possible. When is the last (or the first) time you have heard the number of unemployed people.
You haven’t. You have been told the percentage of the new jobless claims, and this usually only for the last week or so. We are told constantly how the first time jobless claims have fallen.
We are never told how many people are still unemployed or given the total number, or even any numbers other than some vague percentage. The way this is reported is obviously meant to be as positive and as harmless as possible.
Unfortunately this does not represent a true picture of what is happening in this country. I don’t believe we can make reasonable decisions if we do not know what the true facts are, so what are the numbers.
Though this seems a simple question it takes a bit of digging and a calculator to come to a solid number. The news media only reports a vague percentage and never never gives a firm total although the numbers are out there easily found from the most recent report from the department of labor statistics. I wonder why the true numbers are not being reported and can only assume that there is a defacto agreement between the white house business and media as to how these events are portrayed. I make no judgment as to the motivation behind this or even imply a negative one and can only hope this is done out of some expectation of a positive effect. I do not think that Americans can make a reasonable informed logical decision about anything not their own welfare or how to vote and what legislation or actions to support or oppose.
I myself was stunned at the total of Americans out of work and the difficulicity and complexity of deciphering the report from the bureau of labor statics. well here it is the total of unemployed as of the 2-5-10 report release date is 17.4 million unemployed I include the link to the labor and statistics report for those more intrepid or skeptical (help yourself). I also include a link to a site that has really excellent charts that more fully illustrate the impact of the unemployment results.
Excerpt forn the Febrauary 5th report from the Breau of Labor Statistics
Employment Situation Summary JANUARY 2010
Friday, February 5, 2010
The unemployment rate fell from 10.0 to 9.7 percent in January
In January, the number of unemployed persons decreased to 14.8 million, and the unemployment rate
Fell by 0.3 percentage point to 9.7 percent. In January, the number of persons unemployed due to job loss decreased by 378,000 to 9.3 million. The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks and over) continued to trend up in January, reaching 6.3 million. Since the start of the recession in December 2007, the number of long-term unemployed has risen by 5.0 million.
This means prior to the start of the current recession there were only 1.3 Million of long term unemployed and as the result of the recession that number has risen by 5 million persons.
The number of persons who worked part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) fell from 9.2 to 8.3 million in January. A loss of almost a million part time crap jobs e.g. fast food, retail and labor jobs. These individuals were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job.
About 2.5 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force in January, an increase of 409,000 from a year earlier. These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey.
Among the marginally attached, there were 1.1 million discouraged workers in January, up from 734,000 a year earlier.
Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them.
The remaining 1.5 million people marginally attached to the labor force had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities
This would be a total of 2.6 million people 1.5 +1.1=2.6 not 2.5 million.
Also since the 2.6 million were not added to the previous numbers the total come to 17.4 million unemployed Not 14.8 million as the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports.
Construction employment declined by 75,000 Transportation and warehousing employment fell by43, 000 due to loses among couriers and messengers.
Employment in manufacturing was little changed in January (11,000) In January, job gains in motor vehicles and parts (23,000) and plastics and rubber products (6,000) offset small job losses elsewhere in the industry.
In January, temporary help services added 52,000 jobs. Since reaching a low point in September 2009,
Temporary help services employment has risen by 247,000.
Retail trade employment rose by 42,000 in January, after showing little change in the prior 2 months.
Job gains occurred in January among food stores (14,000), clothing stores (13,000), and general merchandise
Health care employment continued to trend up in January. Ambulatory health care services added
15,000 jobs over the month.
In January, the federal government added 33,000 jobs, including 9,000 temporary positions for Census
2010. Employment in state and local governments, excluding education, continued to trend down.