Friday, November 2, 2012

October AJSN Shows Latent Demand for 20.6 Million American Jobs, Slightly Down from September

The October American Job Shortage Number, or AJSN, is here, and, unlike the official unemployment rate which increased from 7.8% to 7.9%, improved.  The October AJSN shows latent demand for 20.6 million American jobs, down from 20.7 million in September.  Without rounding, the actual drop was almost 165,000 positions that could be quickly filled if available.  Here is the breakdown:
AJSN - OCTOBER 2012TotalLatent Demand %Latent Demand Total
Family Responsibilities206,0003061,800
In School or Training366,00050183,000
Ill Health or Disability206,0001020,600
Did Not Search for Work In  Previous Year3,234,000802,587,200
Not Available to Work Now475,00030142,500
Do Not Want a Job82,061,00054,103,050
Non-Civilian and Institutionalized, 15+6,480,54410648,054
American Expatriates6,320,000201,264,000
TOTAL  20,561,404

Unlike the standard unemployment rate, the AJSN is not seasonally adjusted.  In October, since more people are typically working than in September, the official rate has a built-in expectation of increased employment, and when it does not meet that, as was the case last month, it worsens.  The AJSN improved since the absolute numbers of people not working decreased.  The number of people technically unemployed was almost unchanged, but the count of people working increased 706,000 and those out of the labor force fell almost 500,000. 

It is noteworthy how many people who have the above reasons for not working take jobs when they can get them.  That is a main purpose of the AJSN, that many Americans, even those who say they "do not want a job," will work if given the chance.  People rejoined the labor force in October, and will happen more if employment opportunities, even seasonal ones as was the case this time, become more plentiful. 

To summarize, nothing special happened with jobs in October.  We will see more in November, when Hurricane Sandy may have an effect and the presidential election is over.  In the meantime, realize that we still have over 20 million countrymen and women not working, who would end up in jobs if they were readily available, and that shows no real sign of improving further.

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