Brief Note on the Unemployment Rate

I had to rush this morning for an appointment and did not get the following point expressed properly.

Addendum to Payrolls +103,000 Jobs , 444,000 Part-Time on Household Survey

In the household survey (data repeated below for convenience) there was a gain of 398,000 employed. However, the labor force rose by 423,000 explaining the flat unemployment rate.

Of the 398,000 increase in employment, 444,000 were part-time jobs. This can be interpreted two ways. The first way is 46,000 full-time jobs were lost. The second way is 398,000 people who did not have a job, now have one.

The correct interpretation depends on the status of those workers over time. My guess now is this is unusual seasonal strength and will not be repeated.

End of Addendum

Here are the charts once again

Household Data

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In the last year, the civilian population rose by 1,749,000. Yet the labor force dropped by 107,000. Those not in the labor force rose by 1,856,000.

Were it not for people dropping out of the labor force, the unemployment rate would be well over 11%.

Table A-8 Part Time Status

click on chart for sharper image

A year ago there were 8.6 million people who wanted a full-time job but could only find part-time work. Now there is 9.27 million.

In the last month, the number of people working part-time for economic reasons jumped by 444,000.

Part-time jobs are volatile but this is a huge jump.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock
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