The last Employment Report for 2012 is fresh out. Comments will focus on the fact that Nonfarm payroll employment rose by 155,000 and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 7.8 percent.
All that is true but… there is a big bad news.
An important indicator coming from the household survey is the Employment-population ratio which , in short, is the proportion who held a job. This ratio is not subject to fluctuations in participation in the labor force as the unemployment rate and on a statistical basis, these the two numbers (Employed and Civilian population) are larger and counts easier. Futhermore, there is no seasonnal adjustment needed for the Civilian noninstitutional population, a complex statistical operation, partly black box.
The increase of only 28,000 persons saying they have a job (Table B. Numbres under Employed) is insufficient as the the Civilian noninstitutional population* increaded by 176,000 (first row in blue of the table). Hence, the Employment-population ratio went down. Bad news.
For the year as a whole, the numbers of persons saying they have a job increased by 2,409,000 from december 2011 to december 2012 while the Civilian noninstitutional population increaded by 3,766,000, a gap of more than 1,300,000 and widening each month. Sad news.
________________________*Civilian noninstitutional population: Persons 16 years of age and older residing in the 50 states and the District of Columbia, who are not inmates of institutions (e.g., penal and mental facilities, homes for the aged), and who are not on active duty in the Armed Forces. _________________________________
At this rythm, it will take up to 2025 to get back to december 2007 employment level.
The BLS Release
Nonfarm payroll employment rose by 155,000 in December, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 7.8 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment increased in health care, food services and drinking places, construction, and manufacturing.
Household Survey Data
The number of unemployed persons, at 12.2 million, was little changed in December. The unemployment rate held at 7.8 percent and has been at or near that level since September.
Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult women (7.3 percent) and blacks (14.0 percent) edged up in December, while the rates for adult men (7.2 percent), teenagers (23.5 percent), whites (6.9 percent), and Hispanics (9.6 percent) showed little or no change. The jobless rate for Asians was 6.6 percent (not seasonally adjusted), little changed from a year earlier.
In December, the number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was essentially unchanged at 4.8 million and accounted for 39.1 percent of the unemployed.
The civilian labor force participation rate held at 63.6 percent in December. The employment-population ratio, at 58.6 percent, was essentially unchanged over the month.