Friday, March 10, 2017

Employment Situation: Nonfarm Payrolls and Civilian Unemployment February 2017

Today's Employment Situation Report indicated that in February, net non-farm payrolls increased by 235,000 jobs overall with the private non-farm payrolls sub-component adding 227,000 jobs while the civilian unemployment rate declined to 4.7% over the same period.

Net private sector jobs increased 0.18% since last month climbing 1.78% above the level seen a year ago and climbing 6.47% above the peak level of employment seen in December 2007 prior to the Great Recession.

Employment Situation: Unemployment Duration February 2017

Today's employment situation report showed that conditions for the long term unemployed generally improved in February.

Workers unemployed 27 weeks or more declined to 1.801 million or 23.8% of all unemployed workers while the median term of unemployment declined to 10.0 weeks and the average stay on unemployment went flat at 25.1 weeks.

Employment Situation: Total Unemployment February 2017

Today's Employment Situation report showed that in February “total unemployment” including all marginally attached workers declined to 9.2% while the traditionally reported unemployment rate declined to 4.7%.

The traditional unemployment rate is calculated from the monthly household survey results using a fairly explicit definition of “unemployed” (essentially unemployed and currently looking for full time employment) leaving many workers to be considered effectively “on the margin” either employed in part time work when full time is preferred or simply unemployed and no longer looking for work.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics considers “marginally attached” workers (including discouraged workers) and persons who have settled for part time employment to be “underutilized” labor.

The broadest view of unemployment would include both traditionally unemployed workers and all other underutilized workers.

To calculate the “total” rate of unemployment we would simply use this larger group rather than the smaller and more restrictive “unemployed” group used in the traditional unemployment rate calculation.