Nonfarm payroll employment rose by 155,000 in December, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 7.8 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment increased in health care, food services and drinking places, construction, and manufacturing.
Drinking places eh? Makes perfect sense to me
Internally the workweek was up a tenth and the average hourly wage up 7 cents, which is not all that awful.
Now let's look at the household, unadjusted data, which is what I use for my tables.
And here we got big problems.
The employed count went from 143,549 (thousands) to 143,060, a decrease of 489,000 actual employed people.
At the same time the number of people "not in labor force" (those who gave up) went from 89,221 (thousands) to 89,445, an increase of 224,000.
The population of working-age people, however, went from 244,174 (thousands) to 244,350, an increase of 176,000.
So add the increase in the workforce to the decrease in employed people and you get 665,000 fewer people working, more than a half-million, adjusted for population change.
As a reminder when this chart is below the zero line we're losing on the number of people with jobs compared to those who are of working age. That is, we're losing our tax base upon which the nation's ability to fund its government rests.
And all of this, if I'm right in how I'm reading it, should show up in the employment rate of the population, which I warned last month may have cycle-peaked and be headed back down.
I was: The employment rate ticked down three tenths to 58.5% (following last month's two tick decline), and that confirms what I suspected when I looked at the raw data up front:
This report sucked.
Where We Are, Where We're Heading (2013) - The annual 2013 Ticker
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