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progree

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Journal Archives

EF-0. Economic Statistics with links to official sources, 2/9/20. Plus April 2020 jobs report 5/8/20

Major updates were done to all pages on February 8, 2020. For additional updates that were done since then, please click this link: EF-U. Updates List

LBN Threads that discuss the latest monthly jobs reports (the one with the unemployment rate and the payroll jobs numbers that usually comes out the first Friday of the month, but sometimes the second Friday)

For SEPTEMBER 2020 jobs report (dated 10/2), see: https://www.democraticunderground.com/10142594312

New presidential jobs creation table updated 10/2/20 - https://www.democraticunderground.com/10142594312#post18

Since I'm not doing monthly updates anymore, the links below are the place to look for discussions of the numbers. I generally contribute to these threads, but it takes some time (like most of the Friday when they come out). I will at least add the latest link ASAP to the below. One can also look in the Latest Breaking News forum at shortly after 8:30 A.M. Eastern Time on the first Friday of the month (or the second Friday of some months) and find it.

When the jobs reports come out: https://www.bls.gov/schedule/news_release/empsit.htm
. . . for the rest of 2020: October 2, November 6, December 4

JANUARY 2020 (dated 2/7) : https://www.democraticunderground.com/10142430036
FEBRUARY 2020 (dated 3/6) : https://www.democraticunderground.com/10142442171
MARCH 2020 (dated 4/3) : https://www.democraticunderground.com/10142462375
APRIL 2020 (dated 5/8) : https://www.democraticunderground.com/10142489386
MAY 2020 (dated 6/5) : https://www.democraticunderground.com/10142507819
JUNE 2020 (dated 7/2) : https://www.democraticunderground.com/10142528426
JULY 2020 (dated 8/7) : https://www.democraticunderground.com/10142555568
AUGUST 2020 (dated 9/4) : https://www.democraticunderground.com/10142575568
SEPTEMBER 2020 (dated 10/2): https://www.democraticunderground.com/10142594312

Handy key links to BLS data series / graphs pages, some with the latest year or two of monthly numbers: https://www.democraticunderground.com/10142575568#post24


9/19/20 note - this delves into the discrepancy between the 29.6 million collecting benefits in all programs (aka continuing claims) as of week ending August 29 (the latest for this data as of 9/19/20 -- there's a 2 1/2 week lag in this statistic -- and the 13.2 million unemployed figure in the August 2020 BLS monthly jobs report (that came out 9/4/20)
. . . https://www.democraticunderground.com/10142575568#post39
. . . https://www.democraticunderground.com/100214030232#post3

5/12/20 note : Scroll down a a few inches to see a summary of the horrific April 2020 jobs report.


###############################################################

April 2020 Jobs Report that Came out May 8, 2020

I normally don't do monthly jobs reports anymore, but I'm making an exception for this historic jobs plunge we suffered in April.

The headlines are that non-farm payroll jobs dropped by 20.5 million in April, while the unemployment rate rose to 14.7%, the worst since the 1930s.

See the Latest Breaking News thread reporting this: https://www.democraticunderground.com/10142489386

Per Bureau of Labor Statistics May 8, 2020, https://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm :

In April the employment-to-population ratio is the lowest since records of that began in January 1948 (72 years ago)

Ditto the unemployment rate (except it is at the highest, not the lowest, since that seasonally adjusted series began in January 1948)


Also, the Bureau of Labor Statistics admits the official unemployment rate is almost 5 percentage points higher than the 14.7% reported due to classification errors of some of the household survey interviewers (making it close to 20%)

https://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm
As was the case in March, special instructions sent to household survey
interviewers called for all employed persons absent from work due to coronavirus-related business
closures to be classified as unemployed on temporary layoff. However, it is apparent that not all
such workers were so classified.

If the workers who were recorded as employed but absent from work due to "other reasons" (over
and above the number absent for other reasons in a typical April) had been classified as unemployed
on temporary layoff, the overall unemployment rate would have been almost 5 percentage points higher
than reported (on a not seasonally adjusted basis). However, according to usual practice, the data
from the household survey are accepted as recorded. To maintain data integrity, no ad hoc actions
are taken to reclassify survey responses.


And the April numbers come from a sample week of April 12-18. Many more millions of jobs were lost since then, according to the weekly new unemployment claims reports

Putting all of the above together, it is a virtual certainty that the unemployment rate was over 20% at the end of April.

As for the nonfarm payrolls job number being down 20.5 million in April -- that's from a different survey, the Establishment Survey. The key thing to know about that survey is that it is based on pay periods that include the 12th (some employers pay monthly but most pay every 2 weeks, some pay weekly). Anyway, most of that missed the further job losses that occurred in the second half of April.

More Details:
https://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1017&pid=581690



###############################################################

I won't be doing monthly updates, but rather annual updates of the jobs number, so if the job statistics are somewhat out of date in the future, I hope people will read "Beware the tricks of the economic pundits out there". The other pages (EF-1 through EF-10) also has information about the economy that is still relevant or relatively timeless. I also make occasional changes to some of the other pages, particularly the debt and deficit information on the EF-5 page http://www.democraticunderground.com/111622439#post5
and EF-9 Income and Inequality pages http://www.democraticunderground.com/111622439#post9
. Again, please check out the EF-U. Updates List

Another key purpose of this page is to provide links to the official sources of economic statistics and other resources for people to use in the message board / social media wars with the righties (and each other) about the economy.

Almost all sections have where to find the official numbers, such as the Bureau of Labor Statistics and Treasury.gov, or widely cited non-partisan sources. Hopefully people will find these pages a useful reference for finding information. These are the numbers that are cited, and which virtually all analysis of the U.S. economy derive from. The rest is pretty much anecdotal (like "the prices in my grocery store have doubled in the past year" )

There are some amazingly distorted presentations of what their numbers are and what they mean that you find on the web, and yes, DU too. Please see the "Beware the tricks of the economic pundits out there" section in the bottom half of this page for examples of what I mean by distorted presentations of BLS statistics.

I don't claim that the BLS and other government sources are inerrant, or even unbiased, e.g. whoever came up with some of the definitions like the official (U-3) unemployment rate being a count of jobless people who looked for work sometime in the past 4 weeks. And it is obvious that most of the Household Survey numbers have a lot of statistical error, considering how they wildly bounce around from month to month.

I'm just saying all of this is a presentation of the actual BLS and Commerce Department numbers (for the most part) with links to the statistics being discussed, so that you can check it out for yourself.

Most of what you read about economic statistics, including those skeptical of the BLS and Commerce Dept numbers (e.g. GDP), rely on these same statistics, since there aren't many comprehensive non-governmental sources of economic statistics available. In other words, they use these statistics to criticize these statistics. So by giving you the links, you can see the full context -- as many polemicists cherry pick here and there to give a misleading picture.

Again, see the "Beware the tricks of the economic pundits out there" section in the bottom half of this page for examples of what to watch for.


Unfortunately, a lot of the formatting has been lost because of the May 2017 hack of the DU website. For the latest version at archive.org -- WHICH SHOWS THE ORIGINAL FORMATTING -- see:

https://web.archive.org/web/20160411173355/http://www.democraticunderground.com/111622439

Unfortunately the latest archive.org snapshot that shows the original formatting is April 2016. Oh well. There is a way to ask archive.org to save a current snapshot ... the "Save Page Now" feature at https://archive.org/web. But unfortunately any snapshots made after the May 2017 hack of the DU website appear the same as what you are looking at -- with only selected formatting restored.

For more on what formatting does and does not work at DU, see https://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1256&pid=13211

Here is a table of contents of this thread:

{#} EF-0. Economic Statistics with links to official sources (this post)

{#} EF-1. Job Loss and Creation - Payroll Employment. At the bottom all post-WWII presidents with completed terms are compared

{#} EF-2. Unemployment Rate, Labor Force Participation Rate, Unemployment Insurance Claims

{#} EF-3. Recessions and Expansions - Official (NBER.org). Also GDP (Gross Domestic Product)

{#} EF-4. U.S. Stock Market as measured by the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Avg

{#} EF-5. National Debt. Budget Deficits and Surpluses

{#} EF-6. U.S. Dollar Index (DXY). Oil Prices

{#} EF-7. In Progress (mostly Dem presidencies v. Repub presidencies. Also Inequality)

{#} EF-8. In Progress - Some canned excerpts to use in the message board wars

{#} EF-9. Incomes and Inequality and Consumer Prices and Poverty (in progress)

{#) EF-10. Definitions, Links (In Progress)

{#) EF-U. Updates List


I use facts from these in mixed message boards and in comments on news articles such as at news.yahoo.com. Be aware that I have included a few statistics that are not so pleasant as far as Obama's record, ones that anyone debating with others should be aware of because occasionally you will see these points or they will come back at you with these statistics (forewarned is forearmed).

##################################################################################
##################################################################################

Here are some summary tables of the key jobs reports statistics from the Establishment Survey and the Household Survey released on February 7, 2020.

A narrative "Detailed Discussion" section follows these tables.


In the below tables, all "%" ones are percentage point changes, *not* percent increases or decreases. FOR EXAMPLE, when you see something like this:

+0.1% Unemployment rate

It means that the unemployment rate increased by 0.1 percentage points (this EXAMPLE is from March 2016 when the unemployment rate rose from 4.9% to 5.0%).

Before each item, (F) indicates very bad, (D) indicates bad, (C) indicates neutral, (B) indicates good, (A) indicates very good. (Edit: I haven't been putting these "grades" on the items lately)

PLEASE NOTE THAT THE NUMBERS IN THE TABLES BELOW (if any) ARE SEASONALLY ADJUSTED unless otherwise stated.

The links to the data below in the "over the last year" etc. tables

# Nonfarm Employment (Establishment Survey), https://data.bls.gov/timeseries/CES0000000001 monthly change

# . . . the raw (not seasonally adjusted numbers) are at http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/CEU0000000001 monthly change

# INFLATION ADJUSTED Weekly Earnings of Production and Non-Supervisory Workers http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/CES0500000031

# Labor Force http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS11000000 monthly change

# Employed http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS12000000 monthly change

# . . . the raw (not seasonally adjusted numbers) are at https://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNU02000000 monthly change

# Unemployed http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS13000000 monthly change

# ETPR (Employment-To-Population Ratio) aka Employment Rate http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS12300000

# LFPR (Labor Force Participation rate) http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS11300000

# Unemployment rate http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS14000000

# U-6 unemployment rate http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS13327709

# NILF -- Not in Labor Forcehttp://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS15000000 monthly change

# NILF-WJ -- Not in Labor Force, Wants Job http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS15026639 monthly change

# Part-Time Workers who want Full-Time Jobs (Table A-8's Part-Time For Economic Reasons) http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS12032194 monthly change

# Part-Time Workers (Table A-9) http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS12600000 monthly change

# Full-Time Workers (Table A-9) http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS12500000 monthly change

# Multiple Jobholders as a Percent of Employed (Table A-9) https://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS12026620 monthly change

# Civilian non-institutional population https://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS10000000 monthly change

Some statistics by age group
The ones beginning with "LNS" are seasonally adjusted (SA).
The ones beginning with "LNU" are not seasonally adjusted (NSA)
16+ is the default one that the BLS and the media report.
16+ means every civilian non-institutionalized person age 16 and over, including centenarians. So it is misleading -- the population is aging and there are about 10,000 boomer retirements a day (which comes to 3.6 million/year). That's why I show other age groups.

Age 25-54 is what the BLS calls the "prime age". It isn't contaminated by a lot of voluntary retirements.

By default, the graphs are 10 - 11 years, specifically they begin in the January of the year that was 10 years ago -- meaning in this case they begin January 2009 (which happens to be near the bottom of Great Recession job market -- well actually the job count fell for another 13 months to its lowest point in February 2010)

You might want to set the start date of the calendar back to, oh, whatever. 1989? 1979? 1969? In order to get a more historic view. 1989 is about when the rapid growth of female workforce participation began to level off

LFPR - Labor Force Participation Rate for some age groups
The LFPR is the Employed + jobless people who have looked for work in the last 4 weeks (and say they want a job and are able to take one if offered). All divided by the civilian non-institutional population age 16+.
SA means Seasonally adjusted. NSA means Not Seasonally Adjusted
16+: SA: LNS11300000 NSA: LNU01300000
25-34: SA: LNS11300089 NSA: LNU01300089
25-54: SA: LNS11300060 NSA: LNU01300060
55+: SA: LNS11324230 NSA: LNU01324230
65+: SA: ---------------- NSA: LNU01300097

ETPR - Employment to Population Ratio for some age groups
SA means Seasonally adjusted. NSA means Not Seasonally Adjusted
16+: SA: LNS12300000 NSA: LNU02300000
25-34: SA: LNS12300089 NSA:
25-54: SA: LNS12300060 NSA: LNU02300060
55+: SA: LNS12324230 NSA: LNU02324230
65+: SA: ---------------- NSA: LNU02300097


OVER THE LAST YEAR (last 12 months), i.e. Trump's 3rd year:
Updated to include the January 2020 jobs report that came out on Feb. 7, 2020
==== ESTABLISHMENT SURVEY ====
+2,052,000 Nonfarm Payroll Employment (Establishment Survey, CES0000000001)
-0.16% INFLATION ADJUSTED Weekly Earnings of Production and Non-Supervisory Workers ( CES0500000031 ) - YES, A DECLINE
......... the weekly earnings percentage is 11 months thru December because no CPI data for January yet
==== HOUSEHOLD SURVEY ========
+1,464,000 Labor Force = Employed + jobless people who looked for work in the past 4 weeks
+2,087,000 Employed
-624,000 Unemployed (jobless people who looked for work in the past 4 weeks)
+0.5% Employment-To-Population Ratio aka Employment Rate
+0.2% LFPR (Labor Force Participation rate)
-0.4% Unemployment rate
-1.1% U-6 unemployment rate (It includes anyone that looked for work even once in the past year,
` ` ` and part-timers who say they want full-time work) (It's at 6.9%)
-1.2% "U-7" unemployment rate: Counts EVERY jobless person who SAYS they want a job,
` ` ` no matter how long it has been since they looked for work, plus part-timers who want
` ` ` full time work (it's at 8.8%)
-335,000 Not in Labor Force, Wants Job LNS15026639
-923,000 Part-Time Workers who want Full-Time Jobs (Table A-8's Part-Time For Economic Reasons)
+759,000 Part-Time Workers (Table A-9)
+1,324,000 Full-Time Workers (Table A-9)

The "U-7" unemployment rate is a creation of Paul Solman of the PBS Newshour, not a BLS number. The above number is one I calculated, because he doesn't update his number every month, and when he does, it is about a day after the jobs report comes out. My number has consistently matched his within 0.1 percentage points (and mine has always been a bit higher). The "U-7" unemployment rate counts EVERY jobless person who SAYS they want a job, no matter how long it has been since they looked for work, plus part-timers who want full time work

For more background on the U-7 number, see: "If you count everyone who says they want a job, even if they have made no effort to find one in many years" at http://www.democraticunderground.com/111622439#post2


OVER THE LAST 3 YEARS (last 36 months), i.e. Trump's presidency:
Updated to include the January 2020 jobs report that came out on Feb. 7, 2020
==== ESTABLISHMENT SURVEY ====
+6,559,000 Nonfarm Payroll Employment (Establishment Survey, CES0000000001)
+2.84% INFLATION ADJUSTED Weekly Earnings of Production and Non-Supervisory Workers ( CES0500000031 )
......... the weekly earnings percentage is 23 months thru December because no CPI data for January yet
......... Incidentally in Obama's last 3 years, this measure increased by 4.48%
==== HOUSEHOLD SURVEY ========
+4,959,000 Labor Force = Employed + jobless people who looked for work in the past 4 weeks
+6,585,000 Employed
-1,626,000 Unemployed (jobless people who looked for work in the past 4 weeks)
+1.3% Employment-To-Population Ratio aka Employment Rate
+0.6% LFPR (Labor Force Participation rate)
-1.1% Unemployment rate
-2.3% U-6 unemployment rate (It includes anyone that looked for work even once in the past year,
` ` ` and it includes part-timers who want full time work) (It's at 6.9%)
-2.6% "U-7" unemployment rate: Counts EVERY jobless person who SAYS they want a job,
` ` ` no matter how long it has been since they looked for work, plus part-timers who want
` ` ` full time work (It's at 8.8%)
-835,000 Not in Labor Force, Wants Job LNS15026639
-1,552,000 Part-Time Workers who want Full-Time Jobs (Table A-8's Part-Time For Economic Reasons)
+83,000 Part-Time Workers (Table A-9)
+6,536,000 Full-Time Workers (Table A-9)

The reason there's no data for January yet for the inflation-adjusted Weekly Earnings is because the CPI inflation adjustment number for January is not yet available.

Commentary: usually I have more to say because reports are usually more mixed. But as far as over the past year numbers (thru January 31, 2020), the only one that looks bad or disappointing is the slight 0.16% drop in the inflation-adjusted weekly earnings of production and non-supervisory workers. But over the past 3 years (Trump's presidency) it has gained 2.84%. (In Obama's last 3 years it gained 4.48%). As for the past 3 year numbers, I don't see anything that looks bad.

Interestingly, over the past year, the civilian non-institutional population age 16+ incresed 1,263k while payroll jobs increased by 2,052k and "Employed" increased by 2,087k.

The past 3 year numbers are more rational but still surprising: the civilian non-institutional population age 16+ increased by 5,420k, while payroll jobs increase by 6,559k, and the number of employed increased by 6,585k.


(This paragraph was written during Obama's 2nd term) On a separate topic, in general, it seems to me that there is too much discussion in the media of the Labor Force Participation Rate -- aka the Labor Force to Population Ratio -- (the employed plus the jobless people who have looked for work in the last 4 weeks, all divided by the population), and not enough attention to what seemingly matters more -- the Employment to Population Ratio. Why aren't we highlighting the increase in the percentage of the population that is employed (the employment to population ratio)-- a figure that has been slowly moving up since the job market bottom, despite the growing wave of baby boomer retirements?

This was particularly irritating during the 2nd term of the Obama administration when the labor force participation rate was barely off its Great Recession bottom, while the employment to population ratio was definitely and steadily increasing since fall 2013.

(As always, the population being talked about is the civilian non-institutional population age 16 and over, including the elderly, even centenarians).

Part-Time Workers Who Want Full Time Jobs, as % of All Employed
Jan'17 Jan'19 Jan'20
3.8% ` 3.3% ` 2.6%


Aren't most of the new jobs part-time?

No. This excellent post from early July 2015 show two perspectives of the trends in part-time workers and full-time workers (not part-time jobs and full-time jobs). Thanks mahatmakanejeeves
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10141134306#post12

Since February 2010 (the bottom of the Great Recession job market) through January 2020, part-time workers have DEcreased by 98,000 while full-time workers have INcreased by 20,321,000. (Table A-9).

Chart 7 of the below link shows Part-time workers as a percent of total employed, Seasonally adjusted, 19902020. In recent years it has ranged from 20.1% at the height of the Great Recession to around 17% now.
https://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS12692153
https://www.bls.gov/web/empsit/cps_charts.pdf

Romney justifies virtually no job growth at his 3 1/2 year point in Mass.

Probably your crazy uncle is telling you that he's tired of hearing "Oblamer" blame Bush for the poor state of the economy and essentially zero job growth since he took office (since January 31, 2009 thru August 31, 2012, under Obama 261,000 jobs have been lost, although he is in positive territory in private sector jobs).

Your crazy uncle also pooh poohs you when you tell him that in the last 30 months, under Obama 4.6 million private sector jobs and 4.1 million total jobs (actually civilian non-farm payroll jobs), have been created, telling you that you are cherry-picking Obama's best months blah dee blah.

# Payroll Jobs: http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/CES0000000001
# Private Sector Payroll Employment: http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/CES0500000001

Well, Romney in his June 24, 2006 press conference (nearly 3 1/2 years into his governorship of Massachusetts), blamed the economy he inherited for his woeful job record over his entire term, and touted the 50,000 jobs created since the turnaround. Exactly the sort of argument that the righties are criticizing us for making regarding Obama.

Transcript and press-conference video (1:50): http://www.youtube{DOT}com/watch?v=ArRj-dQXX3Y
(replace the {DOT} with . in the above URL. I don't know why it is fighting with me)


TRANSCRIPT:[font color = blue]"You guys are bright enough to look at the numbers. I came in and the jobs had been just falling right off a cliff, I came in and they kept falling for 11 months. And then we turned around and we're coming back and that's progress. And if you are going to suggest to me that somehow the day I got elected, somehow jobs should have immediately turned around, well that would be silly. It takes awhile to get things turned around. We were in a recession, we were losing jobs every month. We've turned around and since the turnaround we've added 50,000 jobs. That's progress. And there will be some people who try and say, 'well Governor, net-net, you've only added a few thousand jobs since you've been in.' Yeah but I helped stop, I didn't do it alone, the economy is a big part of that, the private sector's what drives that -- up and down -- But we were in free fall for three years. And the last year that I happened to be here, and then we turned it around, as a state, private sector, government sector, turned it around. And now we're adding jobs. We wanna keep that going, to the extent we can. We're the, you know, we're one part of that equation, but not the whole equation. A lot of it is outside of our control, it's federal, it's international, it's private sector. But I'm very pleased that over the last a 2, 2 and a half, years we've seen pretty consistent job growth. 50,000 new jobs created, some great companies, we just had, last week, Samsonite announced their headquarters moving here. Companies outside Massachusetts moving in to Massachusetts. That kind of commitment, that kind of decision, says something about what they feel about the future of our state."[/font]

Well, then I wondered, is 50,000 jobs so great for a state the size of Massachusetts? Using July 2011 data, Massachusett's share of the USA population is 6.587 Million / 311.6 Million = 2.1139%. (It would have been better to dig up population numbers more around the 2003-2006 time frame but I doubt that the percentage would be more than slightly different). So on a per-capita basis, 50,000 jobs in Massachusetts is equivalent to 50,000 / 2.1139% = 2.366 Million nationwide jobs.

I'm assuming since the press conference was held in June 24, 2006, that the 50,000 jobs is through the end of May 2006 since they wouldn't have end-of-June numbers in yet.

Well, Obama in a similar point of his presidency -- the end of May 2012, had presided over the creation of 3.744 Million jobs.

So on a per-capita basis since their respective job turnaround points, Obama's job creation record is 3.744 / 2.366 = 1.58 X better (58% better) than Romney's.

And since Romney is "very pleased" with his job creation record in Massachusetts since the turnaround, he should be 1.58 times "very pleased" with Obama's record.


(Note that since Obama took office January 20 (2009) and Romney took office January 2 (2003), I could have moved Obama forward by a month to the end of June. If so, Obama's job creation record through the end of June 2012 is 3.819 Million jobs, and his per-capita record is 3.819 / 2.366 = 1.61 X better (61% better). But I'll settle for the end of May figures. )
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