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Thread: U.S. unemployment falls to 7.5% in April [W: 348, 360]

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    re: U.S. unemployment falls to 7.5% in April [W: 348, 360]

    Quote Originally Posted by j-mac View Post
    No. Listen, I am a layman when it comes to economics, and statistics. I confess that I am not very good at comprehending all the aspects behind coming up with the numbers that are fed to us through media.
    I am not a layman and I've worked in this field for over a decade. So I will try to explain and keep things comprehensible.

    But, I do remember that we were told that we needed some 250,000 jobs created each month in order to keep up with population growth.
    That seems awfully high. Either your source was waaaay off, or you are mis-remembering.
    Now we are being told that 130,000, to 180,000 is good enough, and lowers the rate.
    There is not and cannot be a set number..it's obviously going to change as the population changes. Also, it can be complicated because "jobs" and "employment" are different concepts and the jobs numbers are not used in the UE rate calculations.

    There are 2 surveys in the Employment Situation Report. The "Jobs" numbers come from a survey of approx 145,000 businesses (557,000 individual establishments). The Jobs numbers exclude agriculture, the self employed, people who work in other people's houses, people working off the books, and unpaid family workers. It's also a count of jobs, so a person who works two jobs will be counted twice.

    The Current Population Survey is a survey of approx 60,000 households. It includes everyone 16 and older and Employed are those who worked at least 1 hour for pay or 15+ hours unpaid in a family business/farm. It's a count of people and people are counted only once no matter how many jobs they have. It's also the survey that counts Unemployed and those Not in the Labor Force (neither working nor looking for work).

    So to "keep up with the population" we're looking at the Employment to Population ratio...but that's Employment from the Household survey. You have to do some adjustments to get the number of nonfarm payroll jobs (making assumptions about self employed and agriculture etc). A decent tool is at Jobs Calculator - Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta

    There is only one reason for that to happen in my understanding, and that is that the number of people dropping out of the workforce, exceeds the demand for new employment, so the number in my eyes is a shell game, and a lie.
    Leaving the labor force can happen in many ways. To leave the population altogether (which of course is a minus to the labor force as well), you can die, go to jail, join the military, get institutionalized, or leave the country. To leave the labor force and stay in the population you can retire or otherwise lose/leave your job and not (yet) start looking for work. Until you start looking, you're not unemployed. If Unemployed, you stop looking for work. Most of that is for personal reasons: school, family obligations, illness/injury etc.

    The Labor Force bounces up and down all the time. It reached its peak back in 2000 and is unlikely to get that high again for a while. Keep in mind that many people are loosely attached to the labor force: students/stay home spouses/retirees/Paris Hilton..who don't necessarily need a job but often want one for some extra cash. So these groups dropping out, increased retirees, more people deciding they're better off staying home with the kids, can all drop the labor force (or the participation rate) without meaning anything dire.

    It's not a shell game or a lie, it's just that technical definitions and methodology just doesn't, and can't, match casual/everyday language usage. You can say a 19 year old pothead living in his mom's basement is "unemployed" but is that really a good way to measure the job market? (yes, that was an extreme example to prove a point)
    Therefore, since the world has still/Much good, but much less good than ill,
    And while the sun and moon endure/Luck's a chance, but trouble's sure,
    I'd face it as a wise man would,/And train for ill and not for good.

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    re: U.S. unemployment falls to 7.5% in April [W: 348, 360]

    Quote Originally Posted by Carleen View Post
    Republicans will be terribly dismayed by this news.
    We're dismayed by the job participation rate which is at its lowest since the 70's as well as the fact that these jobs added are nothing compared to the number that left the workforce.
    Haymarket's "support" of the 2nd Amendment, a right he believes we never had.
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    no. You cannot lose rights you do not have in the first place. There is no such thing as the right to have any weapon of your choice regardless of any other consideration. It simply does not exist.

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    re: U.S. unemployment falls to 7.5% in April [W: 348, 360]

    Quote Originally Posted by ocean515 View Post
    Actually, a more accurate measure is found here:

    Table A-15. Alternative measures of labor underutilization
    Which measure are you considering more accurate and why? Certainly not the U4, U5, or U6, where the standard errors are going to be much higher as the groups are much smaller and the definitions more subjective.

    Besides which, I was asked for links to support my cites of the not seasonally adjusted numbers. The alternative measures don't change that at all.
    Therefore, since the world has still/Much good, but much less good than ill,
    And while the sun and moon endure/Luck's a chance, but trouble's sure,
    I'd face it as a wise man would,/And train for ill and not for good.

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    re: U.S. unemployment falls to 7.5% in April [W: 348, 360]

    Quote Originally Posted by PeteEU View Post
    Out of curiosity...what would you have done?
    One) change the CPI tabulation model to what it was in 1980. This would leave the CPI well over the present Fed mandate and force them to raise interest rates to what they should be.

    Two) tell the Fed to end QE immediately or I will end the Fed immediately (assuming I had the power).

    Three) balance the budget (by - among many other things - cutting the defence budget in 1/3-1/2 and bringing all the troops home).

    Four) never again bailout another bank or corporation.

    Basically; neuter the Fed, balance the budget and let the economy fix itself.


    I realize you are totally against most/all of this.

    Your love of all things 'big government' is well documented.


    Have a nice day.
    Last edited by DA60; 05-03-13 at 11:50 AM.

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    re: U.S. unemployment falls to 7.5% in April [W: 348, 360]

    Quote Originally Posted by DA60 View Post
    One) change the CPI tabulation model to what it was in 1980. This would leave the CPI well over the present Fed mandate and force them to raise interest rates to what they should be.

    Two) tell the Fed to end QE immediately or I will end the Fed immediately (assuming I had the power).

    Three) balance the budget (by - among many other things - cutting the defence budget in 1/3-1/2 and bringing all the troops home).

    Four) never again bailout another bank or corporation.

    Basically, balance the budget and let the economy fix itself.


    I realize you are totally against most/all of this.

    Your love of all things 'big government' is well documented.

    Have a nice day.
    If the economy is allowed to recover then no one can take credit for that, not a political reality. QE is all that is left postponing the inevitable, they won't give that up either.

    You are still right though, John Galt said when in this situation the solution is to "Get the hell out of my way."
    Haymarket's "support" of the 2nd Amendment, a right he believes we never had.
    Quote Originally Posted by haymarket View Post
    no. You cannot lose rights you do not have in the first place. There is no such thing as the right to have any weapon of your choice regardless of any other consideration. It simply does not exist.

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    re: U.S. unemployment falls to 7.5% in April [W: 348, 360]

    Now, if we could just get EVERYONE to stop looking for jobs and willingly go on the government dole, the unemployment rate would drop to 0.0%.

    Damn job hunters.

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    re: U.S. unemployment falls to 7.5% in April [W: 348, 360]

    Quote Originally Posted by Lachean View Post
    We're dismayed by the job participation rate which is at its lowest since the 70's as well as the fact that these jobs added are nothing compared to the number that left the workforce.
    What do you mean by "job participation rate?" Do you mean Labor Force Participation rate or the Employment to Population Ratio?

    And while the LFPR is the lowest since 1979, it is higher than anytime before that. So you can't really use that as a gauge of the economy or labor market unless you want to say the we're now better off than any time before 1979 (which would be a really silly thing to say).

    And the Labor Force increased in April. Total employment went up 293,000, Unemployment went down 83,000 for a net change of 210,000 to the Labor Force. That's a change of 0.14% which is close enough to the population change of 0.07% that the Participation rate didn't change.
    Therefore, since the world has still/Much good, but much less good than ill,
    And while the sun and moon endure/Luck's a chance, but trouble's sure,
    I'd face it as a wise man would,/And train for ill and not for good.

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    re: U.S. unemployment falls to 7.5% in April [W: 348, 360]

    Quote Originally Posted by DA60 View Post
    One) change the CPI tabulation model to what it was in 1980.
    Why on Earth would you think that's a good idea? (though I'm not sure what you mean by "tabulation" model...it's not a phrase generally used).
    Surely you don't think that was a more accurate measure?
    Therefore, since the world has still/Much good, but much less good than ill,
    And while the sun and moon endure/Luck's a chance, but trouble's sure,
    I'd face it as a wise man would,/And train for ill and not for good.

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    re: U.S. unemployment falls to 7.5% in April [W: 348, 360]

    Quote Originally Posted by pinqy View Post
    I am not a layman and I've worked in this field for over a decade. So I will try to explain and keep things comprehensible.


    That seems awfully high. Either your source was waaaay off, or you are mis-remembering.

    There is not and cannot be a set number..it's obviously going to change as the population changes. Also, it can be complicated because "jobs" and "employment" are different concepts and the jobs numbers are not used in the UE rate calculations.

    There are 2 surveys in the Employment Situation Report. The "Jobs" numbers come from a survey of approx 145,000 businesses (557,000 individual establishments). The Jobs numbers exclude agriculture, the self employed, people who work in other people's houses, people working off the books, and unpaid family workers. It's also a count of jobs, so a person who works two jobs will be counted twice.

    The Current Population Survey is a survey of approx 60,000 households. It includes everyone 16 and older and Employed are those who worked at least 1 hour for pay or 15+ hours unpaid in a family business/farm. It's a count of people and people are counted only once no matter how many jobs they have. It's also the survey that counts Unemployed and those Not in the Labor Force (neither working nor looking for work).

    So to "keep up with the population" we're looking at the Employment to Population ratio...but that's Employment from the Household survey. You have to do some adjustments to get the number of nonfarm payroll jobs (making assumptions about self employed and agriculture etc). A decent tool is at Jobs Calculator - Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta


    Leaving the labor force can happen in many ways. To leave the population altogether (which of course is a minus to the labor force as well), you can die, go to jail, join the military, get institutionalized, or leave the country. To leave the labor force and stay in the population you can retire or otherwise lose/leave your job and not (yet) start looking for work. Until you start looking, you're not unemployed. If Unemployed, you stop looking for work. Most of that is for personal reasons: school, family obligations, illness/injury etc.

    The Labor Force bounces up and down all the time. It reached its peak back in 2000 and is unlikely to get that high again for a while. Keep in mind that many people are loosely attached to the labor force: students/stay home spouses/retirees/Paris Hilton..who don't necessarily need a job but often want one for some extra cash. So these groups dropping out, increased retirees, more people deciding they're better off staying home with the kids, can all drop the labor force (or the participation rate) without meaning anything dire.

    It's not a shell game or a lie, it's just that technical definitions and methodology just doesn't, and can't, match casual/everyday language usage. You can say a 19 year old pothead living in his mom's basement is "unemployed" but is that really a good way to measure the job market? (yes, that was an extreme example to prove a point)
    It is not a lie.

    But it IS a shell game, IMO.

    To not include workers who have left the workforce (disgruntled workers) for NO other reason then they cannot find work BUT would still take a job immediately if they could find it, as officially having left the work force is a joke.

    These people are clearly persons still looking for work and should thus still be considered unemployed.

    The government (IMO) deliberately does this to make the U-3 number appear to be smaller then it otherwise would be.

    You and I both know that to include even 1/2 of the people that have left the workforce since Obama took office would raise the U-3 rate to well over 9%.

    This - IMO - is MUCH closer to the true unemployment rate.

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    re: U.S. unemployment falls to 7.5% in April [W: 348, 360]

    Quote Originally Posted by pinqy View Post
    What do you mean by "job participation rate?" Do you mean Labor Force Participation rate or the Employment to Population Ratio?

    And while the LFPR is the lowest since 1979, it is higher than anytime before that. So you can't really use that as a gauge of the economy or labor market unless you want to say the we're now better off than any time before 1979 (which would be a really silly thing to say).
    The % of women in the workforce explains that lower participation rate, though you're right and I do believe we are still better off now.

    Quote Originally Posted by pinqy View Post
    And the Labor Force increased in April. Total employment went up 293,000, Unemployment went down 83,000 for a net change of 210,000 to the Labor Force. That's a change of 0.14% which is close enough to the population change of 0.07% that the Participation rate didn't change.
    Where'd you get 293K rather than the 165K from the source? You sure it wasn't a net change of 82K to the labor force increasing it by .07% as Gallup is reporting which keeps exactly in line w/ population change? (Which is of course, NOT GOOD)
    Haymarket's "support" of the 2nd Amendment, a right he believes we never had.
    Quote Originally Posted by haymarket View Post
    no. You cannot lose rights you do not have in the first place. There is no such thing as the right to have any weapon of your choice regardless of any other consideration. It simply does not exist.

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