Thursday, November 10, 2011

6 Million Graduates Not Counted in Unemployment Rate

From high school or college to being unemployed...but not being counted in the unemployment rate. Let's take a jobless walk down Memory Lane (Time-line: Late 2008 to the present in 2011.)

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that in just the past 2 years we gained 1.8 million NET new jobs, lowering the unemployment rate from 10.2% in October 2009 to 9% in October 2011. They're saying we went from 15.7 million unemployed in October of 2009 to 13.9 million unemployed in October of 2011. REALLY? I suppose this could be true, but only if since October of 2009:
  • No one else was ever laid off and/or no other jobs were outsourced overseas,
  • And EVERYBODY who graduated from high school found a job.

Or vice versa, and 1.8 million more Americans were laid off since October 2009 until the present date, but NOBODY who ever graduated from high school during those 2 years had ever found a job (and that's not even counting the 4 million young people who were also attending college).

So I further submit that as October 2011, of the 10 million Americans who were at one time receiving either State of Federal unemployment benefits as of May 2010, 7 million have already exhausted all their qualifying UI benefits, and they are no longer being counted in either the media's reported U-3 unemployment rate, or in the Bureau of Labor Statistics' reported U-6 rate (as either "marginally attached" or "discouraged workers"); and that the ACTUAL number of Americans that are still unemployed today in closer to 21 million, and not 13.9 million that's being reported today.

And because of this, the Bureau of Labor Statistics is saying we have a "reduced work force" and a "lower participation rate".

Additionally, by the end of this year, we will also have approximately 4 million more people without UI benefits if they are not funded by congress, bringing to a total of over 11 million people with no job and no income at all. By comparison, 12 million Americans were unemployed at the height of the Great Depression in 1933 when there was no unemployment insurance...but because the population was a lot less then than it is today, the unemployment "rate" was higher.

How many NET new jobs were created since October of 2009 (during the past 2 years) when the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 15.7 million Americans were unemployed and the unemployment rate was 10.2%?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that as of October 2011 we have 13.9 million unemployed Americans with an unemployment rate of 9%. (I use links to the New York Times because the Bureau of Labor Statistics link to current updates changes every month).

So according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in the past 2 years we're gained 1.8 million net new jobs and the unemployment rate went down from 10.2% to 9%.

We can also assume that many of those newly created private sector jobs were also canceled out by layoffs in the public sector, and that many of the newly created jobs were also part-time low-paying positions as employers have been reducing hours and lowering wages to cut their costs.

So now the question remains, how many Americans were laid off since October 2009 to October 2011, but were never replaced, either due to corporate down-sizing or to outsourcing overseas?

Now the question must also be asked, if according the Bureau of Labor Statistics we also had approximately 2 million young people who graduated from high school since October of 2009 (but did not enter college), were they excluded from the unemployment numbers? If so, then for every high school graduate that's added, that must mean one new NET job must be reported (Could all 1.8 million net new jobs that were created since October 2009 have all been filled by high school graduates?)

We already had 11 million Americans unemployed in January 2009, but just for the sake of argument (to make it much simpler to calculate), let's just go back exactly 2 years ago to October 2009. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics subtracted 1.8 million people from the total of those unemployed since 2 years ago, even after all the additional layoffs since that time, and after 2 million more young people have graduated from high school over the last 2 years.

October 2009 15.7 million unemployed 10.2% unemployment rate 2 years ago
From October 2009 to October 2011


< plus 2 million high school grads in 2010 and 2011
From October 2009 to October 2011


< minus public sector layoffs due to budget cuts
From October 2009 to October 2011


< minus private sector layoffs (permanently laid off or outsourced overseas)
From October 2009 to October 2011


< plus NET private and public sector new jobs added (either full-time or part-time)
From October 2009 to October 2011


< minus those who couldn't find work, were forced into early Social Security or disability, and were no longer counted
From October 2009 to October 2011 - 1.8 million (difference) < sub-total + 1.8 million net jobs reducing the jobless rate
October 2011 13.9 million unemployed 9% current unemployment rate today

* According to this source, there has been a total of 863,000 private sector jobs that were created in 2010 - - - which was more private job creation than during the entire 8 year tenure of George W. Bush. This was proceeded with 15.4 million people being unemployed in December of 2009 with an unemployment rate of 10%. So simple arithmetic would tell me that about 1 million more NET jobs were added since that time - - - to make a total of 1.8 million net new jobs (either full-time or part-time) that were created to lower the unemployment rate from 10.2% in October 2009 to 9% in October 2011.

So the final question is: "Who's not being counted and how many invisible Americans are really out there?" (And will the Bureau of Labor Statistics ever tell us the truth?)

Time Line of Pertinent Figures and Facts Reported by the Media covering late 2008 to the present.

January 9, 2009 - America lost 1.9 million in the final four months of 2008 when AIG failed after the credit crisis began in September, bringing the year's total job losses to 2.6 million, or the highest level in more than six decades. The unemployment rate rose to 7.2%, its highest rate since January 1993. The total number of unemployed Americans rose to 11.1 million. Those working part-time jobs because they couldn't find full-time work or their hours had been cut (the "under-employed) jumped to 8 million, the highest since such records were first kept in 1955. The average hourly work week fell last month to 33.3 hours - the lowest level in history. The average weekly paycheck fell to $611.39 (or $31,792.28 a year).

January 30, 2009 - Bloody Monday: Over 65,400 Jobs Lost - About 200,000 more job cuts have been announced so far this year, according to company reports. Nearly 2.6 million jobs were lost over 2008, the highest yearly job-loss total since 1945.

February 6, 2009 - Over the last 13 months, our economy has lost a total of 3.6 million jobs - and continuing job losses in the next few months are predicted.

February 6, 2009 - The Labor Department said that almost 600,000 jobs disappeared in January and that a total of 3.6 million jobs had been lost since the beginning of the recession in December 2007. The unemployment rate, meanwhile, rose to 7.6 percent.

March 6, 2009 - Government data revealed that 651,000 more jobs disappeared in February. The unemployment rate surged to 8.1.“These jobs aren’t coming back,” said John E. Silvia, chief economist at Wachovia in Charlotte, N.C.

April 3, 2009 - Unemployment rate spikes to 8.5%, a 25-year high. 5.1 million jobs have now been lost since the beginning of 2008. Employers cut back the number of hours for their workers as well. The average hourly work week fell to 33.2 hours, the lowest level on record going back to 1964. A record 9 million Americans were "underemployed" in March.

May 8, 2009 - With an additional 539,000 jobs lost last month, the unemployment rate is pushed to 8.9%

July 2, 2009 - The American economy lost 467,000 more jobs in June, and the unemployment rate edged up to 9.5 percent in a sobering indication that the longest recession since the 1930s had yet to release its hold. The average length of official unemployment increased to 24.5 weeks — the highest level since the government began tracking such data in 1948. The unemployment rate, 9.5 percent, is the highest since 1983.

October 2, 2009 - The economy shed 263,000 jobs in September, and the unemployment rate edged up to 9.8 percent from 9.7 percent in August. Though the job market worsened, the pace of deterioration remained markedly slower. As of the third quarter of 2009, there are 12.5 million unemployed native-born Americans, but the broader U-6 measure shows 21 million natives unemployed or underemployed. (Full break down in demographics).

November 14, 2009 - The official unemployment rate is already 10.2% and another 200,000 jobs were lost in October, when you include discouraged workers and partially employed workers the figure is a whopping 17.5%. While losing 200,000 jobs per month is better than the 700,000 jobs lost in January. Many firms are telling their workers to cut hours, take furloughs and accept lower wages. Many of the lost jobs are gone forever, including construction jobs, finance jobs and manufacturing jobs. Recent studies suggest that a quarter of U.S. jobs are fully out-sourceable over time to other countries.

January 8, 2010 - Number of long-term unemployed hits highest rate since 1948. In the December unemployment report, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said the number of people out of work for 27 weeks or more hit 6.1 million Americans, or 40 percent of all 15.3 million jobless.

February 5, 2010 - The government's monthly job report on Friday showed that the disastrous labor situation plaguing the nation's economy is moderating. But the report also underlines an unsettling reality: 8.4 million jobs have been vaporized since the recession began. The unemployment rate was 9.7% in January. Economists estimate that the country needs to create at least 125,000 jobs per month just to keep up with the nation's expanding job force. That translates into 11 million jobs just to get back to the 5% unemployment rate from before the recession.

June 10, 2010 - Continuing State claims numbered 4.5 million when the U-3 unemployment rate was reported as 9.7% - and at this time nearly 5.4 million Americans were also receiving Federal Extended Benefits for a total of about 10 million people who were either receiving State UI or federal UI benefits. So how could only 8.4 million jobs have been vaporized since the recession began?

July 2, 2010 - 7.9 million jobs lost - many forever. "The nation's working-age population grows by about 150,000 people a month." * So the hole is deeper than it looks. It would take the creation of 10.6 million jobs immediately for the same percentage of the population to be working as was the case three years ago. (Again, how can only 7.9 million jobs be reported lost if 10 million people are collecting benefits? And that's not even counting those who never qualified.) * U.S. Census: The U.S. population increased from 281,424,603 in 2000 to 308,745,538 in 2010. --- 27,320,935 divided by 120 months = 227,674 a month in average population growth.

August 5, 2010 the NY Times reported the tally of laid-off workers that were continuing to claim unemployment benefits was 4.54 million, and an additional 3.90 million people receiving extended unemployment benefits (total: only 8.44 million).

August 18, 2010 - "Suicide is potentially a very large problem as the recession continues, with 6.6 million Americans out of work for six months or more."

December 25, 2010 - The Bureau of Labor Statistics will raise from two years to five years the upper limit on how long someone can be listed as having been jobless. Nearly 10% of the USA's 15.1 million jobless have been looking for work for two years or more. (I, and many others, were laid off in late 2008. Only 10% were jobless for 2 years or more? Bullshit!)

December 29, 2010 - Last month 4.67 million people were receiving federal extended unemployment benefits and 4.06 million people that are currently counted as receiving traditional continued unemployment benefits for a total of 8.73 million people on state and federal unemployment rolls when the unemployment rate was reported at 9.8%.

January 10, 2011 - Incredibly, the U.S. labor force is now smaller than it was before the recession started, though it should have grown by over 4 million workers to keep up with working-age population growth over this period.

January 24, 2011 - There are 1.4 million "very long-term unemployed" who have been out of work for 99 weeks or longer...The 1.4-million figure, calculated using the latest data available as of October, is much smaller than some home-cooked estimates circulated online by advocates for additional weeks of benefits for these "99ers." Some of those estimates are as high as 7 million. BLS: "The total number of people claiming benefits in all programs for the week ending Jan. 1 was 9,607,423."

March 18, 2011 - Researchers at the National Employment Law Project (NELP) recently estimated that during 2010 there were 3.9 million workers who were jobless when they received their final payment of eligible unemployment insurance. A report last December from the President's Council of Economic Advisors included a projection of roughly the same number of UI exhaustees during 2011.

June 13, 2011 - About 6.2 million Americans, 45.1 percent of all unemployed workers in this country, have been jobless for more than six months - at its highest since the Great Depression.

July 14, 2011 - More than 6.3 million Americans have been out of work for more than half a year. The average jobless stint now lasts longer than nine months.

August 8, 2011 - About 13.9 million Americans remain unemployed, and of those, 44.4% have been out of a job for more than six months."

September 2, 2011 - The general unemployment rate, which counts only people who looked for work in the previous four weeks, held steady at 9.1 percent. A broader measure that includes people who have looked for work in the last year and people who were involuntarily working part time instead of full time increased slightly to 16.2 percent. The percent of working-age adults who were employed, already at its lowest rate since 1983, was at 58.2 percent.

October 2, 2011 - With an estimated three-quarters of the 14 million unemployed Americans out of work for more than six months and fully half out of work for more than two years, many jobless Americans are falling into despair as repeated attempts to find work come up short.

November 2011 - "The total number of people claiming benefits in all programs for the week ending October 22 [2011] was 6,835,604." (Prior year-to-date 8,708,828)

November 4, 2011 - " economy that isn’t creating enough jobs to keep up with population growth. While the unemployment rate dipped slightly, from 9.1 to 9.0 percent, the drop was so slight that it might well be a statistical anomaly." A statistical anomaly?!?!

*** I say there are AT LEAST 21 million unemployed, and there are 14 million Americans who have been unemployed for almost 3 years. (I know, I'm one of them.)

----- Original Message -----
From: Bud
Sent: Thursday, November 10, 2011 8:51 PM
Subject: Unemployment numbers

If the Social Security Administration and the Internal Revenue Service and all 50 states' Employment and Security Division had computerized records of EXACTLY when I worked, what I earned, where I was employed, how much tax I paid (or owed), and when I was no longer showing earnings on a W-4 form, can't all this information be easily cross referenced and shared (in part or completely) with the Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics?
It seems it would be fairly easy to do. You would have an EXACT count, at any given time, of how many people are working and how many aren't. You could also say for certain how many people had exhausted all their unemployment benefits and still remain unemployed. You could also determine EXACTLY what percent of high school and college graduates find jobs after completing school.
The CPA household survey is extremely obsolete and flawed in this day and age of technology.
Please let me know if there is any effort under way to accomplish this.
Thank You.
Bud Meyers

1 comment:

  1. This article today starts out by saying," With nearly 7 million fewer jobs in the economy today than when the recession started in December 2007..."

    But we had 10 million people collecting unemployment benefits in May 2010!

    The media refuses to get it right, throwing all kinds of numbers around.