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Fri Feb 1, 2013, 09:33 AM

January payroll employment rises (+157,000); jobless rate essentially unchanged (7.9%)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics


Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 157,000 in January, and the unemployment
rate was essentially unchanged at 7.9 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
reported today. Retail trade, construction, health care, and wholesale trade added jobs
over the month.

Household Survey Data

The number of unemployed persons, at 12.3 million, was little changed in January. The
unemployment rate was 7.9 percent and has been at or near that level since September 2012.
(See table A-1.) (See the note and tables B and C for information about annual population
adjustments to the household survey estimates.)

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (7.3 percent), adult
women (7.3 percent), teenagers (23.4 percent), whites (7.0 percent), blacks (13.8 percent),
and Hispanics (9.7 percent) showed little or no change in January. The jobless rate for
Asians was 6.5 percent (not seasonally adjusted), little changed from a year earlier.
(See tables A-1, A-2, and A-3.)

In January, the number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was
about unchanged at 4.7 million and accounted for 38.1 percent of the unemployed. (See
table A-12.)


Adjustments to Veteran Population Estimates for the Household Survey

Effective with data for January 2013, estimates for veterans in table 5 of this
release incorporate population controls derived from an updated Department of
Veterans Affairs' population model. Other tables in this release are not affected.
In accordance with usual practice, BLS will not revise estimates in table 5 for
December 2012 and earlier months.

Read more: http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm

Good morning, Freepers and DUers alike. I especially welcome viewers from across the aisle. You're paying for this information too, so you ought to see this as much as anyone. Please, everyone, put aside your differences long enough to digest the information. After that, you can engage in your usual donnybrook.

If you don't have the time to study the report thoroughly, here is the news in a nutshell:

Commissioner's Statement on The Employment Situation

What is important about these statistics is not so much this month’s number, but the trend. So let’s look at some earlier numbers.

ADP, for employment in January 2013:

U.S. Economy Added 192,000 Private-Sector Jobs in January, According to ADP National Employment Report

BLS, for employment in December 2012:

December payroll employment rises (+155,000); unemployment rate unchanged (7.8%)

From The Wall Street Journal. of January 4, 2013:

Economy Adds 155,000 Jobs

ADP, for employment in December 2012:

U.S. Economy Added 215,000 Private-Sector Jobs in December, According to ADP National Employment Report

BLS, for employment in November:

November payroll employment rises (+146,000); unemployment rate edges down (7.7%)

ADP, for employment in November:

U.S. Economy Added 118,000 Private-Sector Jobs in November, According to ADP National Employment Rep

ADP, for employment in October:

U.S. Economy Added 158,000 Private-Sector Jobs in October, According to ADP National Employment Report

BLS, for employment in September:

U.S. Economy Added 114,000 Jobs In September, Unemployment Falls To 7.8%


U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics - The Employment Situation - September 2012

The charge was made that September’s BLS numbers were cooked. A fellow who used to head the BLS says this is not possible.

Impossible to Manipulate Labor Survey Data — Former BLS Head

By Geoffrey Rogow

Even if the U.S. government wanted to manipulate monthly jobs figures, it would be impossible to accomplish, said a former head of the U.S. government’s labor statistics agency.

But, Keith Hall, who served as Commissioner of the Bureau of Labor Statistics from 2008 until 2012, said in an interview Friday that there is no way someone at the agency could change any of the data from its two monthly employment surveys. The significant improvement in the unemployment rate may reflect normal statistical errors in the sampling process, he said, but that has nothing to do with manipulation.

Mr. Hall said the inconsistent reports reflect the different samples used in the two surveys, one focused on households the other on businesses. The establishment survey has a huge sample size of 141,000 business and agencies covering 486,000 worksites, whereas the household survey covers just 60,000 homes.

“The household survey is much smaller. When you look at something like labor force and employment levels, the uncertainty of those numbers is much larger,” said Mr. Hall. “Within two months, the household survey could show the unemployment rate eking back up.”

–Eric Morath contributed to this article.

ADP, for employment in September:

U.S. Private-Sector Employment Increased by 162,000 Jobs in September, According to ADP

BLS, for employment in August:

August payroll employment rises (+96,000); unemployment rate edges down (8.1%)

An increase of 96,000 is really lackluster. It's not just lackluster, but, as the first response says, "disappointing." It's half the ADP estimate. Here is a quote from yesterday's ADP news release:

August 2012 Report

Employment in the U.S. nonfarm private business sector increased by 201,000 from July to August, on a seasonally adjusted basis. The estimated gain from June to July was revised up from the initial estimate of 163,000 to 173,000. Employment in the private, service-providing sector expanded 185,000 in August, up from 156,000 in July. Employment in the private, goods-producing sector added 16,000 jobs in August. Manufacturing employment rose 3,000, following an increase of 6,000 in July.

ADP, for employment in August:

The ADP National Employment Report August 2012

BLS, for employment in July:

July payroll employment rises (+163,000); jobless rate essentially unchanged (8.3%)

ADP, for employment in July. I heard an estimate earlier this morning that the growth in employment would be on the order of 100,000.

The ADP National Employment Report July 2012

BLS, for employment in June:

Payroll employment continues to edge up in June (+80,000); jobless rate unchanged (8.2%)

Of particular importance for the BLS estimate for June was this article from that day’s Wall Street Journal.

Unemployment Line Longer Than It Looks‎

Updated July 5, 2012, 7:26 p.m. ET

By SPENCER JAKAB Here is a statistic for the politically inclined: No incumbent president has won re-election with an unemployment rate above 7.2% since the Great Depression.

Economists expect Friday's release of June employment data will show 95,000 new jobs added. Meantime, the unemployment rate is seen unchanged at 8.2%. That may be bittersweet or just plain bitter depending on one's political slant, but it is difficult to reconcile today's rate with past periods.

The headline unemployment rate has been flattered by the number of people no longer counted in the denominator used to calculate it. For example, a comparison of jobs data between the start and end of 2011 shows the ranks of the unemployed fell by 822,000 while the number of people not in the labor force grew by a larger 1.24 million. The unemployment rate fell by 0.6 percentage points over that time to 8.5%.

In fact, the participation rate—the share of the working-age population either working or looking for work—has fallen by 2.3 percentage points over the four years through May to 63.8%, a three-decade low. Nearly 88 million people—about seven times the ranks of the officially unemployed—aren't part of the headline rate's calculation.

Hmmm. Give that some thought. Also, when May’s figures were released, Judson Phillips of Tea Party Nation was on Tom Hartmann that Friday night. He kept referring to the "U-6 Number." That can be found in Table A15. It is "Total unemployed, plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force, plus total employed part time for economic reasons, as a percent of the civilian labor force plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force." It appears in two forms, seasonally adjusted and non-seasonally adjusted. Either way, it is the least optimistic of all the estimates.

Thanks to DUer alp227, you can watch Judson Phillips’s appearance on Tom Hartmannn here: http://www.democraticunderground.com/1014184289#post12

ADP, for employment in June:

ADP jobs up 176,000 (for June)

BLS, for employment in May:

May payroll employment changes little (+69,000); jobless rate essentially unchanged (8.2%)

ADP, for employment in May:

May change in employment +133,000

BLS, for employment in April:

Payroll employment rises 115,000 in April; unemployment rate changes little (8.1%)

ADP and Gallup, for employment in April:

There were four related threads about the April jobs estimate at DU already. Three are in General Discussion, and they are based on the figures from ADP. The fourth, in LBN, paints a contrasting picture. It relies on the figures from Gallup.

Per CNBC - ADP Numbers bad, posted by Laura PourMeADrink


ADP & TrimTabs Showing Much Weaker Payrolls Ahead of Unemployment Report, posted by marmar

U.S. Job Creation Nears Four-Year High, posted by brooklynite

There's a joke about economists in there somewhere.

March, BLS:

Payroll employment rises 120,000 in March; unemployment rate changes little (8.2%)
March, ADP:

Businesses Adding 209,000 New Jobs Last Month Fail To Ignite Market Rally

February, ADP:

ADP Estimates U.S. Companies Added 216,000 Jobs in February, posted by Gruntled Old Man

One more thing:

So how many jobs must be created every month to have an effect on the unemployment rate? There's an app for that.

Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta Jobs Calculator™

Well, enough of that. On with the show.

Monthly Employment Reports

The large print giveth, and the fine print taketh away.

A DU'er pointed out several months ago that, if I'm going to post the link to the press release, I should include the link to all the tables that provide additional ways of examining the data. Specifically, I should post a link to "Table A-15. Alternative measures of labor underutilization." Table A-15 includes those who are not considered unemployed, on the grounds that they have become discouraged about the prospects of finding a job and have given up looking. Here are those links.

Employment Situation

Table A-15. Alternative measures of labor underutilization

From the February 10, 2011, "DOL Newsletter":

Take Three

Secretary Solis answers three questions about how the Bureau of Labor Statistics calculates unemployment rates.

How does BLS determine the unemployment rate and the number of jobs that were added each month?

BLS uses two different surveys to get these numbers. The "household survey," or Current Population Survey (CPS), involves asking people, from about 60,000 households, a series of questions to assess each person in the household's activities including work and searching for work. Their responses give us the unemployment rate. The "establishment survey," or Current Employment Statistics (CES), surveys 140,000 employers about how many people they have on their payrolls. These results determine the number of jobs being added or lost.

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Reply January payroll employment rises (+157,000); jobless rate essentially unchanged (7.9%) (Original post)
mahatmakanejeeves Feb 2013 OP
coalition_unwilling Feb 2013 #1
AngryAmish Feb 2013 #2
JoePhilly Feb 2013 #3
maddogesq Feb 2013 #4
JoePhilly Feb 2013 #5
Kingofalldems Feb 2013 #6

Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 09:38 AM

1. Ha-ha. "Essentially unchanged" - ha-ha-ha. Actualy, UE rate INCREASED by


0.1% in January (from 7.8 to 7.9%).

Combined with Q4 GDP contraction and December 2012 collapse in consumer confidence, spells trouble ahead.

Way to go, Do-Nothing (Rape-publi-scum) Congress! With you at the helm (of the budget and appropriations process), the economy is headed straight for a ditch.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 10:16 AM

2. oh you scamp,, "essentially unchanged"...hehehe

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 10:24 AM

3. Even more important were the large UPWARD revisions for Nov and Dec.

Together those revisions were something like 150,000 additional jobs.

It will be interesting to see if anyone notices.

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Response to JoePhilly (Reply #3)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 10:30 AM

4. I did, which begs a question for number crunchers:

Why does it take so long for BLS to revise November, which is atunning jump to 247,000? Is there a a chance that what January is showing now will be revised up over 200,000?

In my eyes, I will again say this is good news, but not great news. The markets are happy because they get more cheap money from the Fed. Congress needs to do some Keyne and press the pedal down on this puppy. Screw the debt.

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Response to maddogesq (Reply #4)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 02:10 PM

5. Sorry, didn't mean to suggest you didn't notice ...

I was more referring to the news coverage which, at least this am, seemed to not notice.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 02:14 PM

6. K and R for the Cave people

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