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The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the economy created a seasonally adjusted 273,000 new private jobs in April, and 15,000 new jobs in the public sector, the best overall gain since January 2012. The consensus of experts surveyed by Bloomberg earlier in the week had put expected new job creation at 215,000. Both full-time and part-time jobs are included in the total. The official unemployment rate fell to 6.3 percent, the lowest level since September 2008.

There were a couple of clouds over these significantly improved figures, however. The civilian labor force shed 806,000 people in April, a massive drop after rises in the three-month January-March period of 1.26 million. The employment-population ratio remained steady 58.9 percent. But the labor force participation rate fell to 62.8 percent, a 0.4 percent drop that returned it to its lowest level in 37 years.

The bureau's report always includes an alternative measure, U6. This calculation covers not just Americans with no job, but also those working part time who want full-time positions—the underemployed who are called "part time for economic reasons"—and workers who have looked for jobs in the past 12 months but not in the past four weeks. U6 fell from 12.7 percent in March to 12.3 percent in April. U6 does not include people who have not looked for work in the past 12 months.

Revisions changed the job numbers for February from 197,000 to 222,000 and for March from 192,000 to 203,000. That produced a three-month average of 238,000. At that rate, according to the Hamilton Project's Job Gap calculator, it would take until December 2017 to return to pre-recession employment levels at the same time as absorbing the people who enter the labor force each month.

The number of long-term unemployed who have been jobless for 27 weeks or more, fell to 3.5 million, 35.3 percent of all those accounted for who have no work.

The number of officially unemployed Americans fell sharply to 9.8 million. But there are the millions of discouraged workers not included in that count because they have left the workforce.

For more details about today's jobs report, please continue reading below the meandering orange unemployment line.

The payroll services company Automatic Data Processing had reported on Wednesday a seasonally adjusted gain of 220,000 private-sector jobs for April. ADP does not report on public-sector jobs and its estimated growth figures, despite a change in methodology in 2012, frequently aren't a close match with the BLS private-job figures.

Among other news in the April job report:

Demographic breakdown of official (U3) seasonally adjusted jobless rate:

African American: 11.6 percent
Latino: 7.3 percent
Asian (not seasonally adjusted): 5.7 percent
American Indian (data not collected on monthly basis)
White: 5.3 percent
Adult women (20 and older): 5.7 percent
Adult Men (20 and older): 5.9 percent
Teenagers (16-19): 19.1 percent

Duration of unemployment:

Less than five weeks: 2.45 million
5 to 14 weeks: 2.35 million
15 to 26 weeks: 1.53 million
27 weeks and more:  3.45 million

Job gains and losses in selected categories:

Professional services: + 75,000
Transportation and warehousing : + 11,300
Leisure & hospitality: + 28,000
Information: - 3,000
Health care: + 27,900
Retail trade: + 34,500
Construction: + 32,000
Manufacturing: + 12,000  
Average weekly manufacturing hours fell 0.2 hours to 40.8 hours.
Average work week for all employees on non-farm payrolls remained at 34.5 hours.
Average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls was unchanged at $24.31.

Here's what the seasonally adjusted job growth numbers have looked like in March for the previous 10 years.

April 2004: + 249,000
April 2005: + 363,000
April 2006: + 182,000
April 2007: +   78,000
April 2008: -  214,000
April 2009: -  684,000
April 2010: + 251,000
April 2011: + 322,000
April 2012: +   96,000
April 2013: + 203,000
April 2014: + 288,000

For some time now, the Economic Policy Institute has been keeping track of "missing workers." These people "who, because of weak job opportunities, are neither employed nor actively seeking a job. In other words, these are people who would be either working or looking for work if job opportunities were significantly stronger. Because jobless workers are only counted as unemployed if they are actively seeking work, these “missing workers” are not reflected in the unemployment rate."

EPI says there are currently 6.2 million of these missing workers. Here are two charts showing its findings:

The BLS jobs report is the product of a pair of surveys, one of more than 410,000 business establishments called Current Employment Statistics, and one called the Current Population Survey, which questions 60,000 householders each month. The establishment survey determines how many new jobs were added. It is always calculated on a seasonally adjusted basis determined by a frequently tweaked formula.  The BLS report only provides a snapshot of what's happening at a single point in time.
It's important to understand that the jobs-created-last-month-numbers that it reports are not "real." Not because of a conspiracy, but because statisticians apply formulas to the raw data, estimate the number of jobs created by the "birth" and "death" of businesses, and use other filters to fine-tune the numbers. And, always good to remember, in the fine print, they tell us that the actual number of newly created jobs reported is actually plus or minus 100,000.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Fri May 02, 2014 at 06:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Today a dark day in Republican Sabotagestan! (10+ / 0-)
  •  Imagine where we would be (16+ / 0-)

    If the seditionists hadn't blocked every constructive initiative. Suck on it, Koch brothers.

  •  Numbers are looking inconveniently better (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Geenius at Wrok, mmacdDE, LinSea

    That's got to be good news, even with a large number of totally expected part-time hires as we head into the summer, but -- should we be looking for measures of underemployment?

    Here's why I ask:

    This report plays (in)conveniently into Republican hands, as in

    "See? We take unemployment benefits away from shirkers and they go get jobs."

    And there's certainly an element of that.

    But there is also  a segment for whom jobs are not coming back and there is also an underlying purpose in unemployment compensation of giving people time and opportunity to find a job that uses their skills and abilities well.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Fri May 02, 2014 at 06:09:38 AM PDT

    •  And do the numbers take into account (6+ / 0-)

      the number of boomers who are hitting retirement? That has to be part of the reason for the drop in the labor force.

      There are a LOT of boomers, and a big chunk are going to be hitting retirement age. A lot of public sector employees - teachers, principals, social workers, etc. - are going to be retiring because it won't make sense for them to keep working when they can get SS and a pension.

      And even if they're not getting a pension, sometimes it just makes sense to go to part time work and get SS as well, especially now that you can still get healthcare (even if you do have to pay for it). If you're not making much, you might even get a subsidy, making it possible to semi-retire.

      That's NOT a bad thing - people need to retire not only to get a well deserved break from working, but also to allow younger folks to move up.

      •  I know you want to explain away the poor (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        raboof, Mr MadAsHell, nextstep, AlexDrew

        economic performance of the last few years, and -- yes, Boomers are going into retirement.

        I've got a great question, primarily because I would really like to know:

        Have the numbers of people going into retirement accelerated, stayed the same, or slowed down relative to the population?

        The first boomers were be hitting 65 in 2011. Is there a jump?

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Fri May 02, 2014 at 07:06:21 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  explanations not required (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          satrap

          republican obstruction is a well known fact.

          -You want to change the system, run for office.

          by Deep Texan on Fri May 02, 2014 at 08:01:30 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  That's a good question (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          dinotrac, MPociask, Tweedledee5

          I'd like to know the answer as well.

          It's hard to get a grip on what's happening with employment (other than crappy paying jobs replacing good ones) without knowing some of these things.

          And of course the media never mentions it, even if the data is available.

          •  That's a form of underemployment that doesn't (0+ / 0-)

            seem to be measured.

            Maybe there is no good way to do it, but I would expect that the cessation of benefits would cause some people to give up looking for an appropriate job and taking one to put something on the table.

            Long run, not good for them and not good for the economy.

            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

            by dinotrac on Fri May 02, 2014 at 08:54:27 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  And sidebar to this: (6+ / 0-)

          How many Boomers 50+ years were laid off, and cannot get another job because of age?

          They may be "involuntarily" retired.  I assume they are still counted as part of the labor force, since they are under 65.

          "The truest measure of compassion lies not in our service of those on the margins, but in our willingness to see ourselves in kinship with them." Father Gregory Boyle, Homeboy Industries

          by Mr MadAsHell on Fri May 02, 2014 at 08:55:24 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I've known a lot of them. (8+ / 0-)

            People with years of work experience and tons of knowledge.

            All while employers are crying poor and demanding an increase in the H-1B visa program.

            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

            by dinotrac on Fri May 02, 2014 at 09:59:48 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  That's in the numbers. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Eric Nelson, dinotrac

            The BLS runs two different surveys.  An employer survey, and a household survey.

            The question that the household survey asks is "Have you looked for work in the last 4 weeks?".  As long as you are looking for work, you are counted.

            BLS.gov: Employment situation report

            The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred  to as involuntary part-time workers) was little changed at 7.5 million in April.  These individuals were working part time because their hours had been cut back  or because they were unable to find full-time work. (See table A-8.)

            In April, 2.2 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, down  slightly from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) These  individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work,  and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. *They were not counted  as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding  the survey.* (See table A-16.)

            Among the marginally attached, there were 783,000 discouraged workers in April,  little changed from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.)
            Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they  believe no jobs are available for them. The remaining 1.4 million persons  marginally attached to the labor force in April had not searched for work for  reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities. (See table A-16.)

            Emphasis mine.

            The duration of unemployment numbers also give useful insight there.  You can find age breakdowns, but even with back-of-the-envelope assumptions you can come to some conclusions.

            Duration of unemployment:
            • Less than five weeks: 2.45 million
            • 5 to 14 weeks: 2.35 million
            • 15 to 26 weeks: 1.53 million
            • 27 weeks and more:  3.45 million

            -7.75 -4.67

            "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose."

            There are no Christians in foxholes.

            by Odysseus on Fri May 02, 2014 at 10:16:30 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Exactly (3+ / 0-)

            Once you reach 62, if you're not working regularly or making much money, it makes perfect sense to take early SS.

            It's a regular source of income. You know it's coming every month, and how much it will be.

            Something is better than nothing. And you can still work. If you're lucky enough to make more than the 14k or so you're allowed (which is basically full time at min wage) you take a small tax hit.

            Because chances are that if you're 62 and not working full time (not by choice), you'll never work full time at your chosen profession again. Ever.

          •  If they are looking for work.. (0+ / 0-)

            they are counted as in the labor force.  It has nothing to do with age.  You can be in the labor force when you are 85 if you are looking for work.  You have to be over 16, civilian, and not institutionalized.. AND looking for work, at least one effort a month.  So anyone under 65 (like me) who is not working or looking for work is not counted as in the labor force.

            •  Yes, but there are a certain number of people (0+ / 0-)

              are not looking for work because -- well, there are only so many door slams, or, worse, time being completely ignored, that you can talk yourself into enduring.

              LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

              by dinotrac on Fri May 02, 2014 at 02:22:18 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Yes, it does get discouraging... (0+ / 0-)

                But how do you eat and keep a roof over your head?  I would believe that most of the people who actually DO stop looking for work have another source of income.  

                •  Let's see -- (0+ / 0-)

                  You get foreclosed, you go on food stamps, your spouse has a job, you sleep in your parents' basement, you eat up all of your savings, you turn to crime, you live on the street.

                  There are many things you can do.

                  America.  It's a wonderful place.

                  LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                  by dinotrac on Sat May 03, 2014 at 06:02:59 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

        •  Younger participation declined, older increased (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Meteor Blades
          The labor force participation rate of Americans aged 55 and over has increased by 4.6 percentage points from 2003 to 2013. Both men and women have seen increases in labor force participation rates and employment levels.

          In contrast, for the 25 to 54 age group, the core group of workers in the labor force, participation rate has declined by 2 percentage points over the same time period, from 83 percent to 81 percent.


          Who Is Dropping Out Of The Labor Force, and Why?

          The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

          by nextstep on Fri May 02, 2014 at 10:00:13 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  This month, a big percentage (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mmacdDE, nextstep, Tweedledee5

            of people who left the labor force were young people, 16 to 24 years of age, who entered school.  About 230,000 entered school but the number of young people in school and also in the labor force did not increase.

            Over time, the biggest reasons for decreases in the labor force are 1)  The huge number of Baby Boomers aging, and 2) More and more young people in school longer and longer.

            Another big factor that is simply never discussed is the rise in the age for full social security:  As a higher percentage of older people stay in the labor force because of the Republican plan to keep people working longer (raise the retirement age for full Social Security) , are they squeezing out the "prime workers" 25 through 54?

            We also need to remember that the overall labor force participation rate has been dropping for 15 years now.    

        •  When all of your "population growth" (0+ / 0-)

          is concentrated in the older age groups, of course, the number of people leaving the labor force is going to accelerate relative to the population as a whole.... even if the labor force participation of each of those subgroups has increased.  

          What's your point?

      •  That is what I'm trying to figure out: (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        virginislandsguy
        the number of boomers who are hitting retirement?
        Because there are also analyses out there that say that not only is the lower participation rate due to multiple factors like boomer retirements, the decrease was predicted.  All these numbers seem to rely primarily on the CPS though and I'm trying to reconcile some of them to figure out whose analysis is more accurate.
        Analyzing people’s reasons for not participating in the labor force provides a relatively clear idea of the causes of declines in the labor force participation rate. The number of disabled persons has been steadily rising; retirement had not played much of a role until around 2010, at which point it started to make a large impact on the overall participation rate. In particular, the decline in the participation rate in the past one-and-a-half years(when the unemployment rate declined faster than expected) is mostly due to retirement.  Furthermore, nonparticipation due to enrollment in school has been another significant contributor to the secular decline in the participation rate since 2000.

        There is no question that more workers dropped out of the labor force due to discouragement during and after the Great Recession and that there are more discouraged workers now than before the recession. These facts clearly reflect the continued weakness of the U.S.labor market. However, it is not clear whether the overall participation rate will increase anytime soon,given that the underlying downward trend due to retirement is likely to continue.
        http://philadelphiafed.org/...

        I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

        by Satya1 on Fri May 02, 2014 at 09:48:18 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  EPI on retirees: 33% to 40%... (0+ / 0-)

          ...Philly Fed: 80%
          Economists interviewed by Reuters: 61%

          Another report that indicates it's not retirees driving the current drop in the LPFR:

          Manhattan Institute.

          As I have noted elsewhere in this thread, analysts disagree on this subject.

          Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

          by Meteor Blades on Fri May 02, 2014 at 11:10:05 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Manhattan (0+ / 0-)

            is a right-wing think tank, so I'm always skeptical of anything they put out.  I'll have to read their analysis later.

          •  I'm just trying to find out who is more accurate, (0+ / 0-)

            where they get their source data and what their methodologies are.  I've only had time to look at the EPI methodology and I was shocked that they are depending on 2007 projections in part for participation rates to come up with their "missing workers" number.  But I couldn't find sufficient data at the BLM that breaks out exactly why people drop out of the "participation rate".

            Based on this logic, missing workers are estimated in the following way: The labor force participation rate projections for 2016 by gender and age group (age groups 16–19, 20–24, 25–34, 35–44, 45–54, 55–64, 65–74, 75+) available in Table 3 of Toossi (2007) are assumed to be structural rates. The current month’s structural rates (by gender and age group) are calculated by linearly interpolating between 2006 and 2016.
            I think there are some potential errors with that method.

            So, I'm looking around at BLM data and other study methodologies as well.  If I find anything interesting I'll message you.

            I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

            by Satya1 on Fri May 02, 2014 at 03:05:03 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  That's basically true. (0+ / 0-)

          The BLS did predict a drop in the labor force participation rate all through the late 1990's and early 2000's.  There are several studies out there on the BLS site.

          But the impact of raising the age for full Social Security on the labor force participation rate of younger age groups has never been discussed and I personally think it is a factor.

          The labor force participation rate of the 55+ age groups started to rise in 2003, just at the time that the increases in the age for full SS started to kick in.

          •  I could have read it wrong but (0+ / 0-)

            the EPI methodology seems to depend on a certain proportion of participation rates across all age groups.  And IF when the Great Recession hit older workers such that more of them dropped out in proportion to the other age groups, some of that could have been due to early retirement and capturing that is obviously worth knowing.

            As for the rise in participation rates of 55, I'm not sure.  Social Security could definitely be a major part IMO.  I also suspect that the elders most pressed to stay in the work force are mid-middle class and lower who have been screwed over by the stagnant wages in real dollars.  In other words the income inequality really started pinching them.  Also, so many pensions got hurt or converted to defined contribution plans instead of defined benefit.

            I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

            by Satya1 on Fri May 02, 2014 at 03:25:24 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I have to look into the EPI report more closely, (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Satya1

              but I don't believe we have millions of "missing workers".  We only have about 6 million people who aren't looking who say they "want to work", and that's only 1.6 million more "want to work"-ers than we had before the recession, as we always have millions who say they "want to work" but aren't looking for some reason.

              •  check out my other comment to MB (0+ / 0-)

                There are two problems.  

                1)  The KPI count for LFPR due to retirements is based on 2007 projections of a healthy jobs economy.  The make the faulty assumption that no cyclical activity would influence the numbers who drop out of the LFPR for retirement reasons.  It is clear to me that the Great Recession pushed many people into early retirement.

                2) Why are people assuming a LFPR of 62.8% is bad?  That value has been predicted by a number of economists before the Great Recession.  The fact that it is not half a point lower is pretty good news at this point.  It will continue to drop though largely because of demographics - boomer retiring.  From January:

                "Eight years ago, economist Stephanie Aaronson and colleagues predicted demographics and other structural factors would cause the labor force participation rate to fall to 62.9% in 2014, nearly identical to the 62.8% registered last month."

                http://www.fool.com/...

                Check out more at my comment to MB:

                http://www.dailykos.com/...

                I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

                by Satya1 on Sat May 03, 2014 at 06:22:45 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  Actually.. surprisingly..not this month.. (0+ / 0-)

        As a whole, the biggest reason for a drop in the labor force participation rate has been the retiring of the much bunch of Baby Boomers, but that doesn't seem to have anything to do with the drop in the labor force this month.  The drop this month is due to:  Young people entering school (spring quarter?) and people under 40 leaving the work force.

        However, overall, the labor force participation of the 55+ group hit a peak about two years ago and is declining now as the big "bubble" of Baby Boomers pushes farther and farther into retirement ages.

      •  I did some digging (0+ / 0-)

        I think it is safe to say that the Philly Fed numbers are more accurate with regard to how many people dropped out due to retirement.  I also think that the KPI methodology is faulty and ignores the reality that many people were pushed into retiring earlier due to the Great Recession.

        Not only has the LFPR reduced mostly due to retirements in the last 2-3 years, the current LFPR of 62.8% was predicted by many long ago and may well be the value to be expected given the dropping out of the US's biggest age cohort, the boomers.

        The Philly Fed numbers and graphs are here:

        http://philadelphiafed.org/...

        More discussion of all this is at another comment:

        http://www.dailykos.com/...

        I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

        by Satya1 on Sat May 03, 2014 at 07:04:45 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  This report doesn't show an increase in jobs. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      raboof, Tweedledee5

      It shows people leaving the labor force.

      •  That could be depressing. (0+ / 0-)

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Fri May 02, 2014 at 07:06:42 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Went back and double checked and -- Yes it does. (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Inland, Mr MadAsHell, jrand, TKO333, badlands

        288,000 of them.

        Not only is that an increase in jobs, it's double the number needed to keep up with population growth.

        That would seem to be a good thing.

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Fri May 02, 2014 at 07:21:25 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  We only need... (0+ / 0-)

          about 80,000 new jobs a month to keep up with population growth because almost all of the population growth is in the older population groups as people move into the low-labor-force-participation ages.

          •  ??? Population growth tends to come from (0+ / 0-)

            immigration and from babies.

            As babies reach working age, they increase the potential labor market -- adding YOUNG people.

            And...

            I could be wrong, but I think immigrants also tend to skew young.

            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

            by dinotrac on Fri May 02, 2014 at 04:45:31 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  I'm talking about the number of people in the... (0+ / 0-)

            various age groups.  

            Since April 2007, for example, we've added 16.2 million people to the civilian non-institutional population 16+ years of age.  But the number of people 55+ has grown by 15.8 million in that same time frame.  So literally ALL of our population growth is occurring among older people.  It's not that people are immigrating into older age groups; it's that the Baby Boomers are such a huge bunch of people, and that bunch is pushing into older age groups which traditionally have much lower labor force participation rates.    As a result, even with 16.2 million more people, we don't need anywhere close to 16.2 million more jobs.  The Baby Boomers started turning 61 in 2007.. every year that goes by, a big chunk of that Baby Boomer cohort retires, freeing up those job numbers for people in younger age groups.  

            Here's another attempt at explaining this.. I wrote this over a year ago so the numbers need to be updated, but the principles are the same:

            http://mollysmiddleamerica.blogspot.com/...

      •  You're wrong... (0+ / 0-)

        ...because the reality is that it shows both an increase in jobs and people leaving the labor force.

        A gain of 288,000 jobs is an increase no matter how you want to spin it.

        If Democrats proclaim the the Earth is round and Republicans insist it is flat, we will shortly see a column in the Washington Post claiming the the earth is really a semi-circle.

        by TexasTom on Fri May 02, 2014 at 11:07:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, it does... (0+ / 0-)

        show an increase of 288,000 jobs.  Actually about a million more jobs in "raw" numbers not seasonally adjusted.

        There are two reports, one from the Census that counts people in households.. The unemployment rate and labor force participation rate come from that one, and one from the employers.  

        Because the CPS report is from a smaller base, it is more volatile, but over time, these two reports match fairly well.

        In "raw" unadjusted numbers, the number of people employed went up about 700,000.

        So, people may have left the labor force, but a big chunk of people did get jobs.

    •  The number of part-time workers dropped.. (0+ / 0-)

      The number of full-time workers increased.

      The alternate unemployment rate dropped .4%.. It's now as low as it was in October 2008.  The number of long-term unemployed has also dropped, but not by a big number.

      But I do agree that the righties are going to try to spin this as "See?  We need to get rid of those unemployment benefits."   But I'll repeat:  The number of long-term unemployed did decrease, but we need to analyze exactly who left the work force and why.  The % of the long-term unemployed among all unemployed dropped from 35.7% to 35.3%.  Not really a big drop.

      I haven't had time to check the tables that break down the unemployed by age and duration yet.

    •  In a perfect world (0+ / 0-)

      we can take away unemployment benefits because people won't need them. That's what we should be aiming for.

      Let them argue that, it only means the situation is getting better.

  •  Pundits are choking over the numbers n/t (7+ / 0-)

    Everything that we see is a shadow cast by that which we do not see. Martin Luther King, Jr.

    by destiny1 on Fri May 02, 2014 at 06:10:38 AM PDT

  •  That line's never gonna get better for me (9+ / 0-)

    as one of the "discouraged" workers who's left the workforce. At age 45.

    "The great lie of democracy, its essential paradox, is that democracy is the first to be sacrificed when its security is at risk. Every state is totalitarian at heart; there are no ends to the cruelty it will go to to protect itself." -- Ian McDonald

    by Geenius at Wrok on Fri May 02, 2014 at 06:12:32 AM PDT

    •  sadly Obama's buyoff of neo-liberal economics (4+ / 0-)

      has made this recovery miserable.

      His focus is to keep pouring money into the banks
      and hope that some pops out as credit lending.

      •  Nature of economy has changed. (10+ / 0-)

        Many jobs are never coming back.

        Companies have figured out a way to keep increasing profits by hiring lowest number of people possible.

        Payroll is the biggest expense item for most companies and every CEO is incentivized to keep it down.

        •  I think it's linked to productivity. People are -- (10+ / 0-)

          for fear of of losing their jobs -- being worked to death.

          We need some means of forcing the 40 hour work week back down the throats of CEOs. Let them choke on trying to keep their payrolls down when people are actually only working 40  hours per week.

          So I'd say the nature of the economy has changed into one of worker exploitation once again. It's not really a mystery.


          "We must make our choice. We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both." - Louis Brandies

          by Pescadero Bill on Fri May 02, 2014 at 06:44:42 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  True. But no way to stop the exploitation. (6+ / 0-)

            The 2008 great recession was a boon to the companies.

            1. they got rid of a lot of people under the ready made excuse of recession.

            2. the ones that were left were so scared to lose their jobs that they were ready to be exploited. And there is really no way to stop that exploitation when you get thousands or resumes for 1 job opening in one day.

            This is the new norm. Government policy is not going to change internal day to day workings of a company.

            The only thing that will force companies to hire more and shift power towards employees is there is more demand. But when people have so little money there is little chance of a sustained high demand.

            •  Sure there are ways to stop the exploitation. (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              MPociask, Eric Nelson, METAL TREK

              Government can pass laws encouraging the 40 hour work week. Government can tax widely profitable corporations and use the money to create well paying government jobs where workers are pressured into only working 40 hours. Thereby creating competition to corporate employment forcing corporations to offer like benefits.

              It's weak government that allows corporate exploitation.


              "We must make our choice. We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both." - Louis Brandies

              by Pescadero Bill on Fri May 02, 2014 at 08:40:51 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I am talking about the realities within our (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Geenius at Wrok, Middle Molly

                political system.

                Also, a boss can exploit an employee using passive aggressive ways that you cannot ban by legislation. And that primarily how exploitation happens in corporate world.

              •  But it won't do those things (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Zeta Retuculi

                because the bosses have captured government.

                "The great lie of democracy, its essential paradox, is that democracy is the first to be sacrificed when its security is at risk. Every state is totalitarian at heart; there are no ends to the cruelty it will go to to protect itself." -- Ian McDonald

                by Geenius at Wrok on Fri May 02, 2014 at 09:33:17 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Encourage a 40 hour work week? (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                METAL TREK, askew

                That's easy.  Just end the current exemptions for overtime.  A huge and growing class of Americans don't qualify for overtime protections.  That's silly - every American deserves to have time not just for work, but for themselves, their family, and their community.

                So pass a law saying starting 2015, overtime protections apply to every single employee, and that salaried employees will receive 1.5x pay for every hour worked over 40 hours (while laying out that it is expected their current salary is based on a 40 hour work week), 2x pay for every hour worked over 50 hours, and 4x pay for every hour worked over 60 hours.  Put in some kind of protection for times of declared emergencies, stuff like that.

                If you want to talk radical action, add time commuting to and from work as part of your work time, phasing it in over 10 years.  Besides more accurately accounting for your time, it would revitalize city centers all across America, and be good for the environment as the number of miles drove in cars dropped precipitously.

                You can also add in mandatory sick/vacation time - if an employee doesn't use it, penalize the employer.  

                We're never going to get what we don't fight for.

                •  Right... The DOL is supposed to come up with (0+ / 0-)

                  new guidelines for who is and who is not exempt from over time.  I can't wait to see if they come up with anything substantial.  The righties were blowing gaskets when Obama gave the DOL that order.

      •  Hmmm... (0+ / 0-)

        I seem to remember MANY jobs bills put forth by Dems over the past three years that did not get a vote in the House.  And these were REAL jobs bills, not the kinds of bills that the Repubs call "jobs bills".

    •  So... (0+ / 0-)

      How are you living and paying the bills?  How long have you been out of work?

  •  Holy shhh...BENGHAZI!!! (6+ / 0-)

    'bout time, after a few months of jobs under 200k.

    If not for the GOP, we would be seeing over 250k almost every month of last year, as many economic analysts had predicted. That, along along with the Supreme Court, was why Romney had to be stopped. Him taking credit for the economy rebounding was unthinkable.

    Now is the time for Obama to hammer Republicans and call on them to act on jobs. Doing it after a weak jobs report sounds like whining.

  •  Over the past 3 months (6+ / 0-)

    jobs have increased substantially, yet many people are still "giving up" on finding a job. It may be that it's time for many of the giver-uppers to take another whack at it. There are jobs once again.

    •  That won't happen when you can make more (0+ / 0-)

      money collecting than with the few jobs that are available, even at $10.10.  

      If you get confused, listen to the music play - R. Hunter

      by SpamNunn on Fri May 02, 2014 at 06:29:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Looking at the numbers for 'Not in the Labor (6+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SilverOz, Deep Texan, jrand, MPociask, doc2, askew

      Force', the number of people who are NILF who want a job actually DECREASED since the last April (I don't see a table for this breakout on a monthly basis).

      Breakdown of NILF categories, April 2013 compared to April 2014

      Around 85- 90 percent of people who are NILF are not discouraged workers. I would guess they are principally retirees and people taking care of children but the reasons are not given.

      You fell victim to one of the classic blunders, the most famous of which is "Never get involved in a land war in Asia".

      by yellowdog on Fri May 02, 2014 at 06:53:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And college students (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Deep Texan, MPociask, Tweedledee5

        As the percent of the population going to college has increased (pre-recession) one would expect labor force participation to go down.

        Also, I wonder how people returning from Iraq and Afghanistian factor into these calculations. People always talk about the civilian labor force, but at this point many of those soldiers are now becoming civilians.

    •  The number of people who have given up has (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Deep Texan, jrand

      DECREASED since the same time last year. See my post below.

      You fell victim to one of the classic blunders, the most famous of which is "Never get involved in a land war in Asia".

      by yellowdog on Fri May 02, 2014 at 06:55:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  They still won't hire people over 50, (7+ / 0-)

      or people with long unemployment gaps, or bad credit, or lots of other excuses.

      The only jobs I see are retail and fast food, and they don't want an old woman doddering around when they can hire 20-somethings who hustle.

      And it's not because unemployment pays more. There is NO unemployment insurance being paid out to most people who are out of work.

      "The difference between the right word and the almost-right word is like the difference between lightning and the lightning bug." -- Mark Twain

      by Brooke In Seattle on Fri May 02, 2014 at 07:03:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Don't believe the "giving up" stuff. (0+ / 0-)

      The BLS puts out a "flows" report that shows the number of people going from employed to unemployed, employed to "not in the labor force", unemployed to employed, unemployed to "not in the labor force", etc.  The people leaving the labor force over the past two years are people who, for the most part, were EMPLOYED before they "dropped out", not people who were unemployed and looking for work.  MORE people are ENTERING THE labor force and STARTING to look for work than people are LEAVING the labor force and no longer looking for work. In any one month, however, there can be different patterns.

      This "so discouraged" they are dropping out is b.s.  Unfortunately, many of the writers and even the labor economists out there simply don't bother to use all of the data that is available to them.  

  •  Can someone estimate how boomer (10+ / 0-)

    retirement may affect the 'Not in the Labor Force' numbers? I'm an early boomer (born in '48) and almost everyone I know around my age is retired. I realize that my friends are associates are relatively finacially secure; some even have pensions. So the trend may not be the same across all economic strata of people in my age cohort. Is there an estimate of the number of people retiring each year? Retirement may be a significant factor in the 'Not in the Labor Force' numbers in the future (the peak boomer birth year was around 1957, IIRC) but I'm wondering if there is already an effect.

    You fell victim to one of the classic blunders, the most famous of which is "Never get involved in a land war in Asia".

    by yellowdog on Fri May 02, 2014 at 06:27:01 AM PDT

    •  Various analysts offer various numbers... (7+ / 0-)

      ...for retirements. The Economic Policy Institute puts the retirees at slightly more than one third of the total number of people who have dropped out of the work force since the Great Recession began. Others set the figure higher, a few saying that boomer retirements are most of the reason for the work force drop.

      But, boomers, who can retire with full benefits at age 66, are not retiring as fast as expected.

      There is no doubt, however, that, as the boomers age, their retirements will increase. Those of us over 66—I am 67—may still be working at 70. But very few will still be working at 75. So, boomer retirements will have a major demographic impact soon enough.

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Fri May 02, 2014 at 06:37:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  How does the BLS treat SS-eligibles (0+ / 0-)

        i.e. senior citizens in its unemployment calculations? I believe if an individual aged 62 or above starts to collect SS they cannot be counted as unemployed...they're either retired or semi-retired

      •  Not necessarily true (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Deep Texan, jrand, fladem, askew

        The average age of retirement in the US is 62.  And more recent studies suggest that most of those leaving the workforce in the last 2+ years are in fact retirees:

        "Almost all of the decline (80 percent)in the participation rate since the first quarter of 2012 is accounted for by the increase in nonparticipation due to retirement.  This implies that the decline in the unemployment rate since 2012 is not due to more discouraged workers dropping out of the labor force"  From The Philly Fed

        •  What is not necessarily true? I noted that... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Aquarius40, Tweedledee5

          ...different analysts look at the numbers differently. EPI and the Philly Fed are just two examples proving that.

          As for baby boomers, they ARE retiring a lower rate than in the past. Obviously, because there are so many of us, there are still lots of retirees and that does have an impact (obviously) on the labor-force participation rate.

          As for the average retirement age, yes, it's now 62. But it's rising. It had been 60 for years until recently.

          Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

          by Meteor Blades on Fri May 02, 2014 at 07:32:03 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Timing of studies (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Deep Texan, jrand, fladem, askew

            The relevant information is what is happening now, which is what the Philly Fed study shows.  The EPI one attempts to go back to the beginning of the recession and thus doesn't reflect now.  Also, when one looks at the the actual distribution of the reasons of those out of the labor force (as seen by the Atlanta Fed and other Atlanta Fed studies), we can really question the EPI results, which tried to rely on mathematical extrapolations without underlying actual survey data.

            •  And here's a white paper from IMF authors... (0+ / 0-)

              ...who say the recession is the main cause of the LPFR drop-off.

              As I said, different analysts have come up with different results. And I expect they will continue to do so because,  Binyamin Applebaum wrote in January: "As is often the case in economics, however, the truth has proven elusive."

              Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

              by Meteor Blades on Fri May 02, 2014 at 07:53:14 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Correx: LFPR. n/t (0+ / 0-)

                Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

                by Meteor Blades on Fri May 02, 2014 at 07:53:36 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  I am not disputing the recession didn't cause (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Deep Texan, jrand, fladem, askew

                the initial drop off in LFPR (and never have).  What I am disputing is that the continued low levels of LFPR are due to the recession/cyclical factors.  The actual survey data (from my previous post) seems to indicate that the vast majority of those "not in the labor force" now are from non-cyclical reasons.  How they became out of the labor force is somewhat irrelevant at this point if they are now choosing to remain so.

                •  In the short run, we're going to continue to... (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Aquarius40, Eric Nelson, Odysseus

                  ...disagree about the level of the impact from baby boomer retirements. But, as I have already said here, and many times before, over the next few years it's obvious that baby boomer retirements will have the most important demographic impact on the LFPR. But, today, as been noted elsewhere on this thread:

                  Erica Groshen from BLS said, "Our analysis of the household survey suggests the labor force decline was mostly due to fewer people entering the labor force than usual, rather than more people exiting the labor force."

                  Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

                  by Meteor Blades on Fri May 02, 2014 at 08:20:13 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  About a third of the drop in the number of people (0+ / 0-)

                    in the labor force was due to young people 16-24 entering or returning to school.

                  •  I believe you have to ditch the KPI material (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Meteor Blades

                    going forward.  The Fed Philly methodology is so much better.  For starters it uses actual current data.  Also it explicitly warns against the faulty assumption the KPI makes by assuming all boomer retirements are strictly structural in nature.

                    Remember that the first cohort of baby boomers was born in 1946. Importantly, this wave of retirements could have started earlier than three years ago. However, a plausible conjecture is that the 2008 financial crisis and associated loss of wealth might have had the effect of delaying their retirement age, while the subsequent recovery of financial wealth has allowed more of them to retire in the past few years.  Although further careful analysis would be required to verify this conjecture, it highlights the difficulty of separating “cyclical” from“ structural” forces in the sense that the wave of the retirements, which creates a downward trend in the participation rate, is also affected by cyclical forces.
                    It seems to me that as we've just experienced the worst cyclical event in 3 generations, it's not hard to see that it may have pulled forward some retirements.  And those would not be anticipated by the KPI method of assuming their 2007 projections based on "a healthy labor market over the period in question, 2006–2016".

                    Also, I do not get why so many people are assuming the current LFPR of 62.8% is such a bad number.  There are many respected economists that expected it to be exactly that in 2014 - even without the Great Recession.

                    It may seem that all these various reports are coming up with different answers to the same question about the LFPR.  But in truth, they are asking slightly different questions, particularly with respect to boomer retirements.

                    I have enormous respect and admiration for your work at DK, but MB, I think you need to take a second look at this.

                    I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

                    by Satya1 on Fri May 02, 2014 at 10:08:52 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  clarification: (0+ / 0-)
                      The Fed Philly methodology is so much better.  For starters it uses actual current data.
                      In the Philly Fed method, they use the current months data to count how many dropped out of the labor force due to retirement.  The details of what data elements they look at are all there in the extra document that discusses the methodology.

                      For counting people dropping out because of retirement the KPI's method is based on a 2007 projection of the next 10 years of LFPR.  It assumes they are all structural based and so under counts any retirements that occurred early because of the cyclical pressures of the Great Recession.  Those projected rates of retirement are multiplied into the current month's data.

                      The two paragraphs describing the KPR methodology are at the bottom of this page.

                      I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

                      by Satya1 on Sat May 03, 2014 at 06:37:53 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  I mean EPI material. sheesh (0+ / 0-)

                      Too many abbreviations rattling in my head.

                      I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

                      by Satya1 on Sat May 03, 2014 at 07:17:49 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                  •  Dang. I meant -need to ditch EPI material (0+ / 0-)

                    I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

                    by Satya1 on Sat May 03, 2014 at 07:18:37 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

            •  I agree... (0+ / 0-)

              Most of the drop in the labor force participation rate is due to the size of the Baby Boomers and the fact that they are entering retirement.  Way more than half.  I have to look at the EPI studies more carefully, but I think they are off track.

          •  Botttom line (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Meteor Blades

            two things:
            1.  The report asked if you have looked for a job in the last 12 months.  How are people living who aren't looking?
            There is virtually no decent analysis of this question, which is pretty important.  
            I can damn near predict what people will say based on their own presumptions - but actual data around that - nonexistent.
            2.  Pew reported in April that the number of stay at home Mom's has gone from 23 to 29% since 1999.  Why?  My guess is that the new jobs don't pay much, so the opportunity cost of staying at home is higher relative to pay.

            No one has tried to understand the significance of that development in terms of its meaning regarding labor force participation. But that is a big number - and would account for a significant part of the decline in the 25-55 age group.
            http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/...

      •  I can't speak to the larger situation, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Odysseus

        but in my field, and in my state (city management, California), there is much talk about a "retirement tsunami." The average age of city managers and department heads is over 50, and if they all retire within a short period of time there could be a dearth of experienced folks to move up.  Many cities are now putting into place mentoring programs to give the younger folks more skills to make the move.  There are a lot of talented young people working in cities around the state, they'll be in good shape but there will be a learning curve, and some of them may be thrown into the deep end a bit early.  But these are sharp, tech-savvy professionals.  Explicit transition programs are the key.

        "The truest measure of compassion lies not in our service of those on the margins, but in our willingness to see ourselves in kinship with them." Father Gregory Boyle, Homeboy Industries

        by Mr MadAsHell on Fri May 02, 2014 at 09:05:46 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Here's my graph (from last year) (0+ / 0-)

      on the breakdown of the "Not in the labor force" numbers.

      http://mollysmiddleamerica.blogspot.com/...

      This is from last year, but it won't be changed that much when I update it...The big pink slice of the pie represents people over 55 who DO NOT WANT a job.

  •  This means that some are giving up. Not good. (5+ / 0-)
    The civilian labor force shed 806,000 people in April, a massive drop after rises in the three-month January-March period of 1.26 million. The employment-population ratio remained steady 58.9 percent. But the labor force participation rate fell to 62.8 percent, a 0.4 percent drop that returned it to its lowest level in 37 years.
    When a third of the workers of this country are not "participating", there is something very wrong that needs to be fixed.  Apparently, what we are doing is not working.   Time for a WPA, maybe.  

    If you get confused, listen to the music play - R. Hunter

    by SpamNunn on Fri May 02, 2014 at 06:27:47 AM PDT

  •  Bureau of Labor Statistics Commissioner (5+ / 0-)

    Erica Groshen noted that the data suggest the decline in the labor force was primarily "due mostly to fewer people entering the labor force than usual, rather than to more people exiting the labor force."

    Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell. --Edward Abbey

    by greenbastard on Fri May 02, 2014 at 06:30:12 AM PDT

  •  also leaving the workforce (11+ / 0-)

    those that only needed the job for insurance.

    -You want to change the system, run for office.

    by Deep Texan on Fri May 02, 2014 at 06:30:15 AM PDT

  •  One interesting question to ask regarding (7+ / 0-)

    the labor force participation rate:  how much of that drop can be attributed to 50-and-60-somethings who hung around in the labor force solely in order to hold on to health insurance until the ACA freed them to retire or start a business.  I think that number that was being thrown around as an estimate last Fall was 1/2 million.  That could be one factor contributing to the drop.

    I’ve said before, I will always work with anyone who is willing to make this law work even better. But the debate over repealing this law is over. The Affordable Care Act is here to stay. -- President Barack Obama

    by Its the Supreme Court Stupid on Fri May 02, 2014 at 06:32:05 AM PDT

  •  Good news. (11+ / 0-)

    The figure for AA still lagging way behind...almost doubling that of the national rate: 11.6 percent.

    Still a lot of work to be done. If only we had a loyal opposition party.

    Maya Angelou: "Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can't be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest."

    by JoanMar on Fri May 02, 2014 at 06:32:21 AM PDT

  •  ... (7+ / 0-)
  •  I don't care what their damned numbers say, (3+ / 0-)

    it's all kabuki in prep for the elections and to keep us from getting even more angry.

    Almost everyone I know is out of work, has been looking for work for a very long time, and on the verge of losing their homes, etc. The people I know who are working are either at lower-wage jobs than they had before and still in danger of losing their homes, or looking over their shoulders because they see worse times coming.

    •  I don't know where you live, (0+ / 0-)

      but everybody that I know here, in Chicago and suburbs, who was struggling a couple of years ago either now has a solid job at a professional level or has been able to retire.  This includes young people, recent college graduates, who have all found jobs.

      I knew several people who were in foreclosure a couple of years ago.. I looked them up online, and they were all able to keep their homes somehow; their foreclosures were dismissed.

      I know that people are still struggling, but not around here.  The recovery numbers do not surprise me in the least.

  •  Sec. Perez looking appropriately pleased (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TomP, jrand

    saying it "represents significant progress."

  •  Does this number actually mean anything? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    raboof

    Do we really believe that a third of Americans have ascended to some higher form of life that no longer requires an income to survive? Are they people that just decided to be homeless?

    I'd like to see the employment numbers without some (relatively arbitrary?) amount of "discouraged" non-workers removed.

    •  Neither the Not in the Labor Force nor the (8+ / 0-)

      discouraged worker categories are 'arbitrary'. They are the results of a survey which asks a random sample of people the same question about why they are not in the labor force. It is a consistent measure based on the surveyee's self described status. There is no better measure available.

      The rate you want is U-5 (total not employed including NILF) or U-6 (includes underemployed). U-4 includes discouraged workers but not those who are NILF and don't want a job. All three percentages have decreased over the last several months. U-3 is the regularly reported unemployment rate.

      Alternative measures of labor underutilization

      I'm not saying everything is hunky-dory, but the numbers are looking better by several different measures.

      You fell victim to one of the classic blunders, the most famous of which is "Never get involved in a land war in Asia".

      by yellowdog on Fri May 02, 2014 at 07:14:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks (0+ / 0-)

        for the informative response, but I still find it absolutely stunning that basically one out of three unemployed people would answer a survey saying that they have given up looking for work. That doesn't make me feel good about the economy.

        •  Only 10-15 percent of those not in the labor (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Deep Texan, Meteor Blades, askew

          force want to work but are discouraged from looking for work. So if the NILF figure is about one-third of the labor force, we are talking about 10-15 percent of one-third. So, the percentage of marginally-attached/discouraged workers is roughly 5 percent of the civilian non-institutionalized population over the age of 16. The one-third who are not in the labor force are mostly people who don't want a job.

          The numbers we should concentrate on for a deeper analysis are the discouraged workers and the underemployed.  Underemployed (part-time but want full-time) are about another 5-6 percent of the population in the survey.

          BLS definitions:
           Persons marginally attached to the labor force are those who currently are neither working nor looking for work but indicate that they want and are available for a job and have looked for work sometime in the past 12 months. Discouraged workers, a subset of the marginally attached, have given a job-market related reason for not currently looking for work. Persons employed part time for economic reasons are those who want and are available for full-time work but have had to settle for a part-time schedule. Updated population controls are introduced annually with the release of January data.

          You fell victim to one of the classic blunders, the most famous of which is "Never get involved in a land war in Asia".

          by yellowdog on Fri May 02, 2014 at 07:59:14 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  I used to get angry when I read these reports. (4+ / 0-)

    Now I just get more depressed.

    Will there ever be a normal economy in this country in my lifetime? I'm starting to doubt it.

    Are the 3.45 million listed as unemployed more than 27 weeks including all those who have dropped off the rolls, or are those people -- including me -- just no longer counted? How can they tell we are unemployed when nobody asks us? It can't just be extrapolation. Nobody is tracking me, as far as I can tell. It seems they've just forgotten completely about people like me.

    "The difference between the right word and the almost-right word is like the difference between lightning and the lightning bug." -- Mark Twain

    by Brooke In Seattle on Fri May 02, 2014 at 06:54:38 AM PDT

    •  The long-term unemployed number only counts... (4+ / 0-)

      ...those (extrapolated from the 60,000 or so sample the BLS interviews each month) who are in the workforce and say they have looked for a job in the past 12 months.

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Fri May 02, 2014 at 07:01:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  As it should (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Deep Texan, jrand, fladem, Odysseus, askew

        If you haven't even looked for a job in a year, I am not sure we should try to count them in the labor force.

        •  it probably also includes a few dead ppl (0+ / 0-)

          -You want to change the system, run for office.

          by Deep Texan on Fri May 02, 2014 at 08:10:08 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I agree with you about this. But we also... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Odysseus, Eric Nelson

          ...need to get a better understanding of the portion of this cohort that was driven from the work force by negative economic factors and figure out how to keep people from leaving the work force for such reasons. One of the worrisome data points is the large number of young people who are not working, not in school and not looking for work.

          Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

          by Meteor Blades on Fri May 02, 2014 at 09:25:15 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  2.7 million (0+ / 0-)

            between the ages of 20-24 who are not in school and not working or looking for work.  1 million between the ages of 16-19 who are not in school and not working or looking for work.  That's about 7% of all who are 16-24.  We don't know why these people aren't working, looking for work, or in school.  We don't know how they are surviving.

            There are more women than men, 2.2 million women to 1.5 million men, so we can assume some are home with young children, but I'm not sure if there is any more readily available data on this.

            This data from the CPS does not count people in the military.  

        •  I agree that they shouldn't be counted. (0+ / 0-)

          But you aren't counted in the labor force unless you have looked for work in the past 4 weeks.  You aren't counted as discouraged unless you have looked for work in the past 12 months.  But discouraged workers are NOT counted as in the labor force.

      •  Not sure I understand your reply, but... (0+ / 0-)

        people can be unemployed FOREVER.. as long as they make one effort a month, they will be counted among the unemployed.  Now, discouraged workers, people who aren't bothering to look for work for some reason, will only be counted up to a year after their last job or their last effort to look for work.  So if you try to claim "discouragement" for 18 months, you won't be counted among the discouraged workers.  But discouraged workers are NOT unemployed.  

        In the US, as with every country in the world, you need to be looking for work recently to be counted as unemployed.  There are international groups under the auspices of the UN that try to work for some standardization among the nations in these matters.

    •  Brooke - It appears as though the concept (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Odysseus

      of "being in the workforce" means someone who has been asked, specifically,

      "Are you looking for a job?"

      regardless of whether you are or are not looking. I am one of the long-term unemployed, no one from the BLS has ever contacted me for an interview (I live on my cell phone) and yes, I am STILL looking.

    •  If you are looking for work, you are counted. (0+ / 0-)

      There are over 9 million officially unemployed, and only 2.8 million are collecting benefits.  So it should be clear that you do NOT have to collect benefits to be counted as unemployed.  

      So.. if you are looking for work, at least one effort a month, you will be counted among the unemployed.

      The numbers are based on a very extensive survey compiled by the Census for the BLS.  It is probably one of the most carefully designed and tested surveys in the world, based on the highest standards of statistical analysis.  It would be, of course, impossible to count every person every month, which is why a survey is used.

  •  This is actually a rather grim jobs report. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    raboof, greenbastard

    Per the Current Population Survey, the number of people not in the labor force has grown by 988,000. The number of people employed has fallen by 73,000.
      As Meteor Blades noted, the jobs number reported in the Establishment Survey is not necessarily real. It is adjusted in several ways and is subject to later revisions.
       In sum, the lower unemployment rate is a function of people leaving the workforce.
       Meanwhile, the Bureau of Economic Analysis has reported that GDP contracted last quarter, with the exception of healthcare spending, so that GDP growth was just barely positive.
       There are several other reports that show recent growth in some sectors, and better consumer confidence, but we still have an economy plagued with recession levels of unemployment five years after the end of the last recession.
       And we have a Congress and an administration who are doing nothing to deal with the problem.

    •  While the NILF has increased, the number (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Deep Texan, Inland, jrand, Odysseus, askew

      who are NILF and want a job has decreased. At least 85% of people NILF don't want a job (self-described). That large group is probably mostly retirees and people taking care of children. Please read the tables carefully before getting depressed. The U-4 measure (unemployed + discouraged workers has decreased from 7.2 to 6.7 since December.

      Not ideal, of course, but the number of discouraged workers appears to be steadily declining.

      Alternative measures of labor underutilization

      You fell victim to one of the classic blunders, the most famous of which is "Never get involved in a land war in Asia".

      by yellowdog on Fri May 02, 2014 at 07:26:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The CPS report is more volatile.. (0+ / 0-)

      .. than the CES (jobs) numbers.  The CES sample is larger, generally leading to a better estimate.

      The lower unemployment rate may be related to people LEAVING the labor force for whatever reason-- ("dropping out" has a negative connotation that the righties like, but it isn't really accurate.)--  but coupled with a big increase in jobs.. well, there is a very good chance that these numbers will hold.  The unemployment rate does go up and down, of course.

      In terms of growth, confidence, etc., everybody that I know in real life who was unemployed and miserable five years ago is now either working.. .including all of the young college graduates I know.. or has aged into Social Security and retirement.  I know that there are still hundreds of thousands, millions, of unhappy people out there, but I also know that things are much, much better than they were.  We were looking down the most severe economic slope in 80 years.. and we didn't fall into that rabbit hole... despite the Republicans making every effort to push us down that cliff.

    •  We don't know why they're leaving the workforce (0+ / 0-)

      Are they baby boomers retiring early? Seems like that's mostly the case here.

  •  Aprils for the past 10 years (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jrand

    April 2004: + 249,000
    April 2005: + 363,000
    April 2006: + 182,000
    April 2007: +   78,000
    April 2008: -  214,000
    April 2009: -  684,000
    April 2010: + 251,000
    April 2011: + 322,000
    April 2012: +   96,000
    April 2013: + 203,000
    April 2014: + 288,000

    About the same job losses in April 2009 as job gains all of 2014.

    2009, thanks George W. Bush!

  •  Re: Percent Job Losses in Post WWII Recessions (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eric Nelson, Middle Molly

    We have seen this traditional chart built month by month, showing how this Great Recession seems to be out of character with any other post WWII recession.

    1. I would dearly love to see the same metrics overlaid with those of both the Long Depression (the real first one) and the Great Depression (the real second one, the present mess being a real Third Depression).

    2. While I am not an economist, and I don't even play one on TV or in YT, something smells with this present fiasco. Either it was a purposeful assassination of liberal policies where the perps got away with murder, as the saying goes, or it is a strategy to reverse the progress we made during the 20th and 21st centuries in civil rights, workers rights, women's rights, and yes the 99%ers rights to control our own destinies away from the bloody hands of the 19th century 1%ers who persisted through the progress led by Teddy Roosevelt, FDR, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy-Johnson, even Nixon, Carter, and Clinton.

    I see this as a handy blame game on Obama (who is as white as he is black, but never mind the strategy works just dandy when the perps insist he's black, communist, socialist, Kenyan, Muslim, etc....).

    It is the blame game as follows: Pour sawdust in a gas tank and then blame manufacturer and service provider on the poor quality of the car. Break a window and then blame the homeowner. Get it? Put the monkey wrench into the works and then say, "see? it's already broken. So it's junk!"

    So, I'd like to see earlier data overlaid and I believe that this "recession" has been orchestrated by people who need to, but will never, go to prison.

    Ugh. --UB.

    The Republican Party is run by the KOCH BROTHERS.

    by unclebucky on Fri May 02, 2014 at 07:35:44 AM PDT

    •  Yeah.. (0+ / 0-)

      That chart is not a valid comparison, as the only recession that would compare would be the Great Depression (or a few earlier ones, as you mention), and we don't have really accurate data that goes back that far.  

      I don't think the recession was orchestrated, but I think it was the inevitable result of bad policy and laissez-faire capitalism of the 2000's.. (and before that as well).  But I do think that things that would have helped us recover more quickly were blocked for political expediency.. on the part of Republicans.

  •  I'd rather have an ambiguously good number (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aquarius40

    than an unambiguously bad number like the initial 1Q GDP report.

    The dossier on my DKos activities during the Bush administration will be presented on February 3, 2014, with an appendix consisting an adjudication, dated "a long time ago", that I am Wrong.

    by Inland on Fri May 02, 2014 at 08:24:22 AM PDT

  •  I wish they would talk about this (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eric Nelson

    What no one is talking about is the fact that most businesses in this country are trying to get by with a minimum staff. I think the downturn in 08 was the excuse they were looking for to cut staff. Part of the reason the 1950's and 60's saw economic growth was that businesses had more staff than they really needed. I work at one of the largest hospitals in the country and even though we need more people in my department we won't get them. If we get one or two sick calls in a day it really messes things up. My wife is an accountant at one of the largest universities in the country and they are at minimum staff which means everyone at her department is really doing the equivalency of two people's work. One of my friends is a department manager and needs three new people but management will only allow him to hire two. And so on and so it goes.

    Unemployment rates will probably never dip below 5% if were lucky and more than likely never below 6%. It's artificial and it's killing this country.

  •  CBPP Statement: May 2, 2014 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Meteor Blades

    Statement by Chad Stone, Chief Economist, on the April Employment Report

    Today’s mixed jobs report shows a big jump in payroll employment but a sharp fall in labor force participation.  The labor market is clearly much stronger than in the depths of the Great Recession but still far from the “maximum employment” goal that Congress has mandated the Federal Reserve to pursue.

     Long-term unemployment remains a particular concern, highlighting why Congress must restore federal emergency jobless benefits — which it allowed to lapse at the end of 2013 and has not restored even though long-term unemployment remains substantially higher than when any of the previous seven emergency programs expired (see chart).  

     photo 5-2-14ui-f1_zps4ecc052b.png
    About the April Jobs Report
    Private and government payrolls combined rose by 288,000 jobs in April ...Federal government employment fell by 3,000..

     • This is the 50th straight month of private-sector job creation...Total government jobs fell by 599,000 over this period, dominated by a loss of 351,000 local government jobs.

     • Most of the job losses incurred in the Great Recession have been erased...the economy will have to maintain the pace of job creation so far this year (214,000 jobs a month) to restore full employment in a timely manner.

     • The unemployment rate fell from 6.7 to 6.3 percent in April, and 9.8 million people were unemployed.  The unemployment rate was 5.3 percent for whites (0.9 percentage points higher than at the start of the recession), 11.6 percent for African Americans (2.6 percentage points higher than at the start of the recession), and 7.3 percent for Hispanics or Latinos (1.0 percentage points higher than at the start of the recession).

     • All of the decline in unemployment reflects a drop in the labor force (people aged 16 or over working or actively looking for work)...The labor force participation rate ... fell back to 62.8 percent in April, which prior to the end of last year was the lowest it has been since 1978 and lower than the 2013 average of 63.3 percent.

     • The share of the population with a job, which plummeted in the recession... has remained below 60 percent since early 2009..

    • The Labor Department’s most comprehensive alternative unemployment rate measure — which includes people who want to work but are discouraged from looking (those marginally attached to the labor force) and people working part time because they can’t find full-time jobs — dropped to 12.3 percent in April...By that measure, about 19 million people are unemployed or underemployed.

     • As discussed above, long-term unemployment remains a significant concern.

     - emphasis added

    Iow's pretty much exactly as reported each month here @ Daily Kos

    Thx MB
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    P.S. My laymans take: stop the slashing of government programs (austerity/GOP/corpo agenda) and extend long term unemployment insurance  immediately if not sooner - and a bunch of other stuff too, all of it, the opposite of what the GOP has done and plans to do:
    Statement by Robert Greenstein, President, on the House Passage of Chairman Ryan's Budget Plan - CBPP Statement: April 11, 2014

    House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s “Path to Prosperity” budget, which the House has now passed, is anything but that for most families and individuals.  Affluent Americans would do quite well, but for tens of millions of others, the Ryan plan — which gets 69 percent of its cuts from programs that serve people of limited means — is a path to more adversity.
    [...]
    The Ryan budget is thus an exercise in obfuscation — failing to specify trillions of dollars that it would need in tax savings and budget cuts to make its numbers add up.  No one should take seriously its claim to balance the budget in ten years.
    And it gets worse from there
    •  correx: the republcans/Paul Ryans budget .. (0+ / 0-)

      .."gets worse from there" - just to be clear

      •  And one more thing from business friendly.. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Middle Molly

        ..Forbes to years ago 7/17/2012:

        The Truth About The Bush Tax Cuts And Job Growth

        And if one feels the need to argue that tax cuts are the great driver of employment, the comparative numbers presented make it shockingly clear that these tax benefits to the wealthy do little to nothing to even keep up with the employment increases under all of the other two term presidents of the modern era, with the exception of poor old Ike.

        Nobody likes to pay taxes. We can—and will—have more endless debates over whether we should resolve our debt crisis by cutting, raising taxes or some reasonable or unreasonable combination of the two.

        But the GOP meme suggesting that tax cuts equals jobs while, conversely, tax increases on the so-called “job creators” mean less work for the rest of us, simply does not survive any reasonable scrutiny.

        Every single policy touted by the RWNJ republicans was wrong years ago. And is still just as wrong to day. We would be doing much better without the GOP and any of their policies and obstruction of progressive Dem policies.

        So Reagan and sycophants: It was YOU and every single republican today with blind faith and servile allegiance  to the "conservative" movement corpos that is at the core of this country's troubles

        rant over

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