Today’s Headlines

Considering a Career in Trucking?

Truck driving can be a very rewarding and fulfilling career if you are passionate about getting out and sightseeing. It can be fairly well paid career path and … [Read More...]

4 Tips for Avoiding a Workplace Accident in a Blue Collar Environment

If you recently got hired to work a blue-collar job, there are some things that you should know if you want to stay safe at work. Industrial environments are … [Read More...]

February Unemployment- Only 20,000 New Jobs?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released their monthly unemployment survey results for February on March 8th and it has the market pundits wringing … [Read More...]

3 Options to Consider When You Can’t Go Back to Work

Life can be a real struggle when you are suffering from chronic pain from an injury or other serious medical problems that won't go away. If you have chronic … [Read More...]

4 Tips for Avoiding a Workplace Accident in a Blue Collar Environment

If you recently got hired to work a blue-collar job, there are some things that you should know if you want to stay safe at work. Industrial environments are known to have additional hazards that you’ll likely not find in office jobs, so it’s especially important to be diligent when it comes to looking after your well-being. These four tips can help you avoid a workplace accident in your blue-collar environment.

February Unemployment- Only 20,000 New Jobs?

Unemployment 3.8%The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released their monthly unemployment survey results for February on March 8th and it has the market pundits wringing their hands over the mere 20,000 jobs created after projections were for 175,000 jobs. Optimists are blaming the government shutdown combined with the weather causing a lack of construction jobs in the Seasonally Adjusted jobs numbers.

But if job creation is only 20,000 why is Unadjusted U-6 Unemployment down from 8.8% in January to 7.7% in February? Why has the unemployment rate for Hispanics dropped to another mega low of 4.3%? And why is the unemployment rate for Women 3.6%?

The non-seasonally adjusted jobs number is up by 827,000 jobs from January to February compared to an increase of 1.237 million during the same period last year and an increase of 1.03 million from January – February 2017.  So, yes the increase is considerably smaller but as we near full employment it becomes progressively harder to find new employees even if you have jobs available. The problem shifts from a lack of jobs to a lack of qualified employees.

Key February Employment and Unemployment Numbers

  • Adjusted U-3 Unemployment-   3.8% down from 4.0% in January, 3.9% in December and 3.7% in November.
  • Unadjusted U-3 Unemployment-  4.1% down from 4.4% in January, 3.7% in December and 3.5% in November.
  • Unadjusted U-6 Unemployment-  7.7% down from 8.8% in January, 7.5% in December and 7.2% in November.
  • Unadjusted Employment (Establishment Survey)- 149.133 up from 148.201 million in January, 151.190 million in December and 151.244 million in November.
  • February Labor Force Participation Rate- Unchanged at 63.2% up from 63.1% in December and LFPR 62.9% highest since 2013.  
  • 101st straight gain in Seasonally Adjusted Employment- (Household Survey) 156.949 up from 156.694 in January

Current Seasonally Adjusted U-3 levels are hovering around the lows of 2000. Prior to that we have to go all the way back to 1969 to see better unemployment levels than we have currently. Current levels are rising a bit from a cyclical low not seen since 1969. Also noteworthy is that levels do not stay this low for very long. The longest low like this was the seven month period from October 1968 through April 1969. Prior to 1969 was a one month low of 3.7% in 1957. On the plus side, [Read More…]

Unemployment and Employment Charts

  • Unemployment Rate Chart – The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate from 1948 to the present is one of the most watched statistics. Where is it now and should you trust it?
  • Current U-6 Unemployment Rate– Many people consider the U-6 the “real” unemployment rate. See where it is now.
  • Current Employment Data – How many jobs are there actually? This chart shows Employment since Jan 2000 and what the current trend is.
  • Historical Employment Data Chart– How Many People Are Actually Employed? This chart shows the actual employment rate without all the mumbo-jumbo. It gives a clear picture of  the employment level in the United States from 1939 to the Present. When employment is rising the economy is growing. When the employment rate levels off or declines times are not so good. Take a look and see how employment rates correspond to recessions over time.
  • Current Employment vs Unemployment Chart When looking at employment vs. unemployment you would think that they are two sides of the same coin but the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) actually uses two entirely different surveys to calculate them. Looking at both on the same chart we can see some strange anomalies.
  • Misery Index– Created by economist Arthur Okun to help gauge the level of misery the average person is suffering. It is a combination of the inflation rate and the unemployment rate.
  • Unadjusted vs. Seasonally Adjusted Unemployment Rate– Often it appears that the Seasonally Adjusted numbers are going one way, while the unadjusted numbers are going in the opposite direction. Here is how it looks in chart form.
  • Seasonally Adjusted Unemployment Rate in Table form– If you want to see the actual numbers.
  • Is the Government Fudging Unemployment Numbers? Now there is an alternative measurement. We can also see a discrepancy in the Government’s own numbers by looking at the Employment vs. UnEmployment rate.
  • U-6 is the broadest measure of unemployment and includes all classes of Unemployed plus those ”marginally attached” and/or part-time for economic reasons. See What is the U-6 Unemployment Rate? for more details of all the “U” classifications.
  • What is the “Real” Unemployment Rate? Many economists believe that the popularly quoted Unemployment Rate understates the real unemployment rate because it fails to include workers who would like to work but have given up looking because they don’t think there are any jobs available for them.
  • State Employment and Unemployment Rates- September 2012 including political party affiliation  Which States have the highest unemployment and how does that relate to Political party?
  • Minimum Wages vs Unemployment– Will raising the minimum wage make the poor richer? A perfect real life example that illustrates what happens when the government tries to legislate wealth. My friend Jeff just posted this on Facebook. “My job was cut from 40 to 25 hours a week so that my employer will not have to pay health insurance due to the (UN) Affordable Health Care act. My insurance went up $100 so that the IRS can enforce the (UN) Affordable Health Care Act. Thank you Mr. President.” So this is how the government “helps” the poor through legislation… cut their hours and raise their taxes.