In the discussion thread: Damn GOOD Jobs Report: 'What's going on here? These are big jumps up!' [View all]
Response to JaneQPublic (Reply #16)
Fri Oct 5, 2012, 10:27 AM
bigtree (53,987 posts)
19. Today's jobs report in six graphs (alas no political party coding)
Ezra Klein @ezraklein
Today's jobs report in six graphs. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/wp/2012/10/05/the-jobs-report-in-six-charts/ … (via @dylanmatt)
Unemployment and Payroll Numbers
Unemployment took the biggest fall in months, reaching below 8 percent for the first time since January 2009:
Labor force participation
That said, the unemployment rate is a function of two things: the number of people employed, and the number of people in the labor force. But the proportion of people in the labor force actually went up, suggesting the fall in the unemployment rate reflects a real improvement, rather than people stopping their work search:
Public and private
Public employment stopped falling for the first time since February. Whereas previous July and August numbers saw it falling, revised numbers suggest that 73,000 public jobs were added in the past three months:
Alternative Unemployment Measures
As I explained last month, the BLS releases six unemployment measures. There’s U3, the number that shows up in all the news article, which counts people who don’t have jobs, but have looked for one in the past four weeks, but U1, U2, U4, U5 and U6 exist as well. U1 and U2 are usually lower than U3, and measure the percentage of people who have been unemployed for 15 weeks or longer and the percentage who have lost jobs or done temporary work in the period in question, respectively.
U4, U5 and U6 are usually higher than U3. Each of these categories includes everyone in all the lower categories: all people in U3 are in U4, all people in U4 are in U5, and all people in U5 are in U6. U4 adds people who have stopped looking for work because they’ve concluded none is available. U5 adds people who would like to work but for whatever reason have not looked for work recently. U6 adds the underemployed, or part-time workers who want to be working full-time but cannot for whatever reason.
The six measures are pretty well coordinated, and all six ticked down in September, suggesting again that the drop reflects real improvement:
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Today's jobs report in six graphs (alas no political party coding)
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