The chart reveals the following points. First at the end of last year and the beginning of this year the economy was bleeding jobs. Four months ago the rate of job losses decreased from roughly 610,000 on average to about 225,000 on average. In other words, the pace of job losses is still decreasing which is good. However,
The unemployment rate increase .3%. The reason is illustrated in the following chart:
Click for a larger image.
The unemployment rate comes from the household survey which shows in increase in the civilian labor force of 73,000 and an increase in the number of unemployed of 466,000.
The above chart also shows that the rate of decrease in various job sectors is moderating. Note the month over month losses are -80 for service industries and down -136,000 for goods industries.
There are three other interesting data points.
The number of people working part-time for economic reasons has leveled off since the beginning of the year.
The number of people marginally attached (These individuals were not in thelabor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for ajob sometime in the prior 12 months.) is increasing. And
The number of discouraged workers (Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available forthem) may have topped out for this cycle as well.
Overall I'd call this a lukewarm report. I don't like the increase in the unemployment rate, but it's not surprising. The overall rate of job losses are still moderating, the rate of individual losses in various industries are decreasing and two measures of labor under-utilization (part-time for economic reasons and discouraged workers) appear to be topping.
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The Bonddad Economic History Project
At the beginning of 2012, I decided to start looking at the actual, statistical history of the US economy starting in 1950. The reason is simple: to find out what really happened. So, when you see title of a post that begins with a year such as 1957, followed by "employment" or "Fed policy: you know what it's for. You can also access the information by typing in BE for Bonddad econ and a year to find information on a particular year.
Here is a link to pages that contain links to all the posts on the years listed.