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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Mon May 11, 2020, 04:30 AM

2. It's actually worse. First, on the 20.5 million jobs lost --

it's just a sample in April for pay periods that included the 12th and compared to the previous sample period in March for pay periods that included the 12th. From the Establishment Survey.

Since the end of most of the April 12th pay periods, through the end of April, more jobs were lost.

The unemployment rate comes from a different survey, the Household Survey. They have a sample week April 12-18.

Since then, through the end of April, more jobs were lost.

Whatever.

According to the reports, April had the lowest employment to population ratio in the history of the series (which starts in 1948)

The Bureau of Labor Statistics says:

https://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm
The labor force participation rate decreased by 2.5 percentage points over the month to 60.2 percent, the lowest rate since January 1973 (when it was 60.0 percent). Total employment, as measured by the household survey, fell by 22.4 million to 133.4 million. The employment-population ratio, at 51.3 percent, dropped by 8.7 percentage points over the month. This is the lowest rate and largest over-the month decline in the history of the series (seasonally adjusted data are available back to January 1948). (See table A-1.)


Labor force participation rate:

. . . http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS11300000

Employment to population ratio:

. . . http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS12300000
. . . Lowest seems to be 54.9% in October 1949, until now (51.3%)

Of course the unemployment rate is also the lowest in the history of its series, also going back to 1948, but everyone knows that (Trump beats Reagan, the previous post-WWII record holder, who peaked out at a mere 10.8%):

In April, the unemployment rate increased by 10.3 percentage points to 14.7 percent. This is the highest rate and
the largest over-the-month increase in the history of the series (seasonally adjusted data are available back to
January 1948).
http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS14000000

and as I said above, this and other numbers are really worse at the end of April because these numbers (unemployment rate, labor force participation rate, and employment to population ratio), all come from the Household Survey, whose sample week was April 12 - 18.

Oops, I forgot to add that the unemployment rate is also almost 5 percentage points under-reported:

In the household survey, individuals are classified as employed, unemployed, or not in the labor
force based on their answers to a series of questions about their activities during the survey
reference week (April 12th through April 18th). Workers who indicate they were not working during
the entire survey reference week and expect to be recalled to their jobs should be classified as
unemployed on temporary layoff. In April, there was an extremely large increase in the number of
persons classified as unemployed on temporary layoff.

However, there was also a large increase in the number of workers who were classified as employed
but absent from work. As was the case in March, special instructions sent to household survey
interviewers called for all employed persons absent from work due to coronavirus-related business
closures to be classified as unemployed on temporary layoff. However, it is apparent that not all
such workers were so classified.


If the workers who were recorded as employed but absent from work due to "other reasons" (over
and above the number absent for other reasons in a typical April) had been classified as unemployed
on temporary layoff, the overall unemployment rate would have been almost 5 percentage points higher
than reported (on a not seasonally adjusted basis). However, according to usual practice, the data
from the household survey are accepted as recorded
. To maintain data integrity, no ad hoc actions
are taken to reclassify survey responses.

5% on top of 14.7% puts it in round-off territory of 20%.

Remembering too that the survey week, April 12-18, is more than 3 weeks ago ... there's been a lot of layoffs since then according to the weekly unemployment claims reports.

Edited to add:

Why the unemployment rate could be 5 percentage points higher, Ethan Wolff-Mann, Yahoo Finance, May 8, 2020
https://finance.yahoo.com/news/why-the-unemployment-rate-could-be-5-percentage-points-higher-135352226.html

for a more "newsie" report of the same thing.

Shorter less wonky version with all the main points of the above: https://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1002&pid=13423980

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Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin May 2020 OP
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