Tepid Employment Report, Sept 2013 September 6, 2013Posted by geoff in News.
The BLS released the employment numbers today. While the survey of businesses (Establishment Survey) showed the addition of 169K jobs, the survey of households showed a loss of 115K jobs. The Establishment Survey has historically been more reliable (since it’s based on payroll data), but for the past year I’ve found the Household Survey to be more believable.
The Household Survey overall is pretty bleak. 312K people left the workforce, so even with population growth the workforce shrank (again). The number of people trying to get back into the workforce dropped by 130K. The labor force participation rate is the lowest it’s been since 1978 (35 years ago). The one spot of good news is that the number of part-timers dropped by 123K.
On the Establishment Survey side, it’s interesting that temps are one of the very few (if not the only) labor areas that have exceeded the pre-recession employment levels. So we’ve got that going for us:
So how about that chart, you know – the one that compares full-time employment to the 16+ population? Survey says:
About the same as last month, and last month sucked. This is the 3rd month in a row that we’ve been stuck where we are.
And by popular request, many people have been wondering about an update to the “Atlas Groans” chart. This chart tells you how many adults are employed for every adult who is not employed. Give you an idea about how sustainable social services are.
So here, going all the way back to the beginning of BLS statistics (1948), is the new Atlas Groans chart:
As you can see, we’ve gone from 6.5 employed adults for every not-employed adult down to 2.3. In fact, this month we set an all-time record at 2.27. At the start of the recession we were at 2.7, and waaayyyyy back when Lyndon Johnson decided to create a permanent Welfare State, we were at 4.2.
It’s easy to see why we can’t run the country without a deficit.