Unemployment rate drops

As progressive economists are pointing out, because so many people have now left the labor force.

I’ll be happy to give the president credit whenever he actually achieves something. No matter how you hear it spun, this isn’t it.

Dean Baker:

The Labor Department reported a decline of 315,000 people in the labor market in October. This was the main factor driving a drop of 0.4 percentage points in the unemployment rate to 8.6 percent. The
establishment survey showed a weaker than expected 80,000 job gain for the month, although this bad news was largely offset by upward revisions of 72,000 to the job growth numbers for the prior two months.

The drop in participation was entirely among women and especially black women. (Among married women, employment rose by 194,000, so this was not a case of women as second earners dropping out of the labor force.) Participation numbers among white women fell by 199,000, a decline of 0.2 percentage points. The drop among black women was 164,000, a drop of 1.2 pp. These monthly numbers are highly erratic and it is likely that at least part of this drop will be reversed in future months. Nonetheless there had been a trend of declining participation rates among both white and black women even prior to the November plunge. This suggests that there is a real issue of women losing access to jobs, although the December figures may show some reversal.

4 thoughts on “Unemployment rate drops

  1. The “addition” of jobs are payroll based, but, I believe unemployment rates are based on unemployment claims. So, if one has exhausted their benefits and still has no work, they are not counted as unemployed. Also, the reports do not indicate if the employment is seasonal. I predict an adjustment of the numbers. The underemployed are not counted either.

  2. At least 15 million Americans are looking for work and can’t find it. The technocrates can make public any numbers that suit them. But those numbers are meaningless to the millions seeking employment. And it’s much worse in Europe and the Middle East. The 99% has had quite enough leadership from the 1% thank you.

  3. WNYC just had a discussion about the new unemployment numbers with a woman from MarketPlace. She talked frequently about the people dropping out of looking for work, but never defined how that was known.

    If a person no longer receives unemployment compensation, and thus no longer has to report to the unemployment office, they’re dropped as being unemployed…afaik. But never was this defined.

    How does anyone now whether someone applies for jobs? When I was on unemployment I had to provide names and numbers of businesses I’d contacted and jobs I’d appled for; when I was no longer on unemployment, how did they know whether or not I continued to apply, continued to look for work?

    There are ways of determining numbers which don’t depend on official unemployment offices, but I believe the first iteration of month’s unemployment numbers are based on the most easily determined figures, from those offices.

    Please, does anyone know for sure??

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