Considering all of the economic data reports available to us, unemployment statistics in particular, can tell us a great deal about the state of our current economy, especially when reviewed comparatively. Here, we will look at the current U.S. employment situation, according to research recently reported by Sterling National Bank.
Basic Unemployment Rates
As of July, 2016, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics accounted that the total nonfarm payroll unemployment rate actually increased by 255,000, as the general rate of unemployment remained consistent at 4.9 percent. The growth was seen to have occurred in the health care industries, business services, and finance. A descending employment trend was reported in the mining industry.
Bearing in mind these figures, it makes sense that the number of unemployed persons was virtually unaffected at a stable 7.8 million since August, 2015. However, the reported number of individuals who were unemployed less than 5 weeks showed a downward trend of 258,000, while those out of work for a minimum of 27 weeks remained unchanged over the month’s time. This latter category of unemployed covered 26.6 percent.
Also showing minimal fluctuation during the month of July, were the labor force rate of participation (62.8 percent) and the employment/population ratio (59.7 percent). Additionally, the amount of individuals who preferred full-time employment, but sustained part-time employed due to reduced hours or the inability to find sufficient full-time work (aka “involuntary part-time workers) remained unchanged at 5.9 million.
Ready, Willing, and Unable
The demographic of individuals ready and willing to work, who had sought employment sometime during the 12 months preceding this report, were not counted as technically unemployed because they had not searched for a job within the 4 weeks prior to the survey, however the data was not seasonally adjusted. Regardless, this accounts for 2.0 million persons who are considered “marginally attached” to the work force, also, unchanged from the year before.
In the midst of this group of marginally attached workers, 591,000 are considered “discouraged workers”, which refers to individuals who have ceased their job searches under the belief that there are no available jobs to be found. (Again, this data is not seasonally adjusted.) Conversely, the 1.4 million remaining persons considered attached marginally to the U.S. labor force had discontinued their particular job searches due to reasons relating to family responsibilities and school attendance.
The reasons for any particular unemployment trend, whether unchanged, declining or on an upswing, can be based on a myriad of factors. However, to really study cause and effect, it is important that we begin with an accurate and comparative statistical analysis to eventually achieve improvement and resolution.
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