September Employment Report: No Change. No Progress.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released September’s employment report this morning.  (Link provided above.)  To no one’s suprise, the unemployment picture remains virtually unchanged.  This is an economy that is going absolutely nowhere. 

The employment level actually rose for the 2nd month in a row, but rose by only half as much as last month.  But workers also re-entered the labor force (in other words, the government pulled them out of their “bank” of “discouraged workers”) for the 2nd month in a row.  The net result is that unemployment remained unchanged.  Here’s the calculation of unemployment, including my own calculation of more realistic figures:

Unemployment Calculation

Here are the charts of that data:

Unemployment Chart

Labor Force & Employment Level

Unemployed Americans

I’ve also added a new chart this month:  “Per Capita Employment.”  This is a simple calculation of the employment level divided by the U.S. population.  It cuts through all the mumbo-jumbo associated with hiding workers in a pool of “discouraged workers.”  A decline in this figure indicates an economy where employment isn’t keeping pace with population growth – an economy in decline.  And that’s exactly what’s happening.  Here’s the chart:

Per Capita Employment

The linked employment situation summary breaks down the loss of jobs in September as follows:

  • Government Employment:  – 159,000
    • Federal Census Workers:  – 77,000
    • State and Local Government:  – 76,000
  • Construction:  -21,000
  • Leisure & Hospitality:  + 34,000
  • Professional & Business Services (temps):  + 28,000
  • Health Care:  + 24,000
  • Mining:  + 6,000
  • Manufacturing:  No change
  • Wholesale Trade:  No change
  • Retail Trade:  No change
  • Transportation & Warehousing:  No change
  • Information Services:  No change
  • Financial Services:  No change

The jump in “leisure & hospitality” is likely due to the weakening dollar, boosting tourism to the U.S.  The drop in construction is further evidence of the contraction in credit and the slump in housing.  The “no change” in manufacturing is a bad sign that the president’s plan to boost exports is failing. 

The range of 9.5-10.0% unemployment appears to be the “new normal” for our economy – no surprise since the Obama administration has done nothing to address the underlying issues with our economy:  the massive trade deficit and the crazy practice of importing a million new workers into our labor force every year.

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