The number of unemployed Americans dropped last month from 12,083,000 to 11,462,000, the largest factor causing the AJSN to fall 489,000. Those not looking for work in the past year, but saying they still wanted a job, plunged a remarkable 418,000, and the similar “discouraged” category dropped 122,000. Yet just a hair short of two million more said they did not want employment at all. Most of the AJSN’s partially offsetting gain was due to a larger gap between U.S. Census Bureau data and Bureau of Labor Statistics data, now up to almost 11 million in the estimate of those in armed services, institutions, or not accounted for at all.
Here is the breakdown:
|Total||Latent Demand %||Latent Demand Total|
|In School or Training||233,000||50||116,500|
|Ill Health or Disability||145,000||10||14,500|
|Did Not Search for Work In Previous Year||3,386,000||80||2,708,800|
|Not Available to Work Now||563,000||30||168,900|
|Do Not Want a Job||83,697,000||5||4,184,850|
|Non-Civilian, Institutionalized, and Unaccounted For, 15+||10,890,526||10||1,089,053|
The three major secondary BLS measures were split; those out for 27 weeks or more stayed steady at 4.3 million, those working part-time for economic reasons (want full-time work but can’t find it) dropped 334,000 to 7.9 million, and labor force participation declined once more to 63.2%.
So how good was this month’s jobs report? Not bad. It fits in quite consistently with recent months’, with another seasonally adjusted net increase in jobs, 169,000, above the 125,000 to 140,000 needed to cover population growth. Once again the unemployment rate dropped – both adjusted and unadjusted are now 7.3%. It has now been one year since the first monthly AJSN was announced, so let us start comparing AJSN data with that of the year before. How does August 2013 stack up with August 2012?
A year ago, unemployment was 1.2 million higher, at 12,696,000. Those not searching for work in the previous year, but still wanting it, then counted to 426,000 higher. The numbers in all marginally attached categories, except for those discouraged (up 22,000) have decreased since. Those not wanting a job are up over 2.4 million.
In all, these are good times, with employment continuing to crawl forward. With the labor force continuing to shrink, though, improvements will be overstated. Given the political climate, the government, with its measured stimuli, may be setting the stage as well as it can, barring the national infrastructure project that may end up waiting until after the 2016 elections. The reason unemployment is as high as it is is not that we are being misgoverned – it is due to the job shortage, which is permanent and will not end even with economic times as otherwise good as these.