Unemployment, August 2010

Another late catch-up post for my classes.  The Employment and Unemployment reports came out Sept 3 for August, 2010.  Calculated Risk covers the story with the usual impeccable graphs.  It’s pretty close to the expected. Not as bad as feared, not as good as hoped, and nowhere near as good as we need.

From the BLS:

Nonfarm payroll employment changed little (-54,000) in August, and the unemployment rate was about unchanged at 9.6 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Government employment fell, as 114,000 temporary workers hired for the decennial census completed their work. Private-sector payroll employment continued to trend up modestly (+67,000).

Census 2010 hiring decreased 114,000 in August. Non-farm payroll employment increased 60,000 in July ex-Census.

Both June and July payroll employment were revised up. “June was revised from -221,000 to -175,000, and the change for July was revised from -131,000 to -54,000.”

Employment Measures and Recessions Click on graph for larger image.

This graph shows the unemployment rate vs. recessions.

Nonfarm payrolls decreased by 54 thousand in August. The economy has gained 229 thousand jobs over the last year, and lost 7.6 million jobs since the recession started in December 2007.

Percent Job Losses During Recessions The second graph shows the job losses from the start of the employment recession, in percentage terms (as opposed to the number of jobs lost).

The dotted line is ex-Census hiring. The two lines have almost joined since the decennial Census hiring is almost over.

For the current employment recession, employment peaked in December 2007, and this recession is by far the worst recession since WWII in percentage terms, and 2nd worst in terms of the unemployment rate (only early ’80s recession with a peak of 10.8 percent was worse).