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July 12, 2005

A Few Unemployment Details

Barry Ritholz talks about unemployment:

The Big Picture: Drilling beneath the BLS Headlines : One of the fascinating things about the US Goverment's data producers... is that they don't seem to hide anything.... Its all there if you have the temerity to dig.... The amazing thing is that most people don't bother... economists, journalists, strategists and fund managers who trade off of this data. So let's do a little digging....

  • Once again, we see the Birth Death adjustment -- thats the hedonic guesstimate which supposes the number of new jobs created by businesses so new they have yet to be measured -- actually exceeded the number of new jobs. This month, its 184k. That's about on par with last June's B/D adj....
  • Household survey shows another 240,000 people left the Labor Force last month.... We still see unemployment going down because more people are dropping out of the labor than obtaining new jobs. That's hardly cause for celebration.
  • U-6, the broadest measure of unemployment, actually ticked up to 9.0%. This measure includes: Total unemployed, plus discouraged workers, plus all other marginally attached workers, plus total employed part time for economic reasons.
  • Lastly, here's an oddity I just noticed: The jobless rates by race shows that Whites are no longer enjoy the lowest unemployment rate.... Asians: 4.0%. Whites 4.3%. Hispanics 5.8%. Blacks 10.3%...

Posted by DeLong at July 12, 2005 03:05 PM