Monday, May 7, 2012

29.7 Million Seek Work

People ask, why all the talk about dogs and contraceptives? The reason is: jobs.

Tomorrow the Labor Department will release its April employment report. If the rate goes down, the administration will brag a bit, but they won't dwell on it. They know that the unemployment rate does not reflect the actual number of people who need work. Did you ever wonder how many of them are really out there?

Let's put it in pre-recession, real numbers perspective. In July 2007, at the peak of the bling-years boom, there were 146.1 million people employed, 7.1 million unemployed, and 4.5 million working part-time "for economic reasons," which, added to the unemployed, gives the number for "underemployed” (U6). There were 78.7 million people not in the labor force. The unemployment rate was 4.6%.

Last month, in March 2012, there were 142 million employed, 12.7 million unemployed, 7.7 million U6, and 87.9 million "not in the labor force". The unemployment rate is now (supposedly) 8.2%.

With 154.7 million in the labor force, 1% represents about 1.55 million people. Read More