Unemployment Inches Up

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) announced on Friday January 6th, 2017 that the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for December was 4.7% up from 4.6% in November. The unadjusted U-3 came in at 4.5% up from 4.4% in November. Gallup on the other hand says the unadjusted U-3 is 5.1% up from 4.9% in November.

Unemployment U6 vs U3The U-6 unemployment rate, which includes discouraged workers, marginally attached workers and part-time workers who want to work full-time, was 9.1% in December up from 9.0% in November.
Gallup says their equivalent “Under Employment Rate” was 13.7% in December up from 13.0% in November.

Labor Force Participation Rate

For the 20 years from 1989 to 2009 the Labor Force Participation Rate (LFPR) held fairly steady at around 66%
of the workforce being employed.

But starting in 2010 it began falling drastically and is now below 63%. In January 2015, the Labor Force Participation Rate was 62.9% it slowly worked its way down to 62.5% in October 2015 but has now rebounded a bit back up to 62.7% in December 2016 up slightly from 62.6% in November .

Employment Chart January -2017The BLS says the current U.S. employment situation for the month of December 2016 includes 146.148 million jobs down slightly from November’s previous peak of 146.418 million but still above June’s 145.215 million and above November 2015’s prior peak of 144.122 million.

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