Friday, October 7, 2011

Employment: Update September 2011

The big news last month was Zero Job Growth—neither gains nor losses. The economy had gained 83,000 jobs; but in part due to a strike at Verizon, the economy had also lost 83,000. Striking workers are not counted as “employed.” Well…
  • First of all, the Bureau of Labor Statistics revised the August figures in its September release (link). Instead of that zero, we actually had a gain of 57,000. Thus the bad news had been overstated. On the graphic below, I show this change in purple.
  • Second, September data show a gain of 103,000 workers. The number somewhat overstates real gains because some of that increase (about 48,000 workers) is accounted for by Verizon strikers going back to work.
Here is our updated graphic for September:


To stress the positive, we have now had 12 months of net employment gains. To stress the negative, we lost 8.7 million jobs in the 2008-2009 period. Of these, so far we have only recovered 2.0 million jobs in the next 21 months. Here is a graphic showing that:


Tomorrow I will show detail by sector.

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