Yesterday the Department of Labor, Bureau or Labor Statistics (BLS) released the January 2013 Employment Situation report. This first Employment Summary for 2013 brings a mixed bag with national unemployment reported as unchanged from the previous month at 7.9% despite a gain of 157,000 jobs in January. Of the 157,000 jobs created the job creation leaders were retail trade adding 33,000 jobs, construction adding 28,000 jobs with health care adding 23,000 jobs.
Since September 2012 the national unemployment has remained virtually unchanged at 7.9%. This stall in the employment rate is causing concerns about a return to another recession. The disappointing Employment Situation report comes on the heals of -.01% 4th Quarter report on the US Gross Domestic Product. The unexpected contraction of the US economy and fears of the “Fiscal Cliff” combined to hold up more job growth in January.
With a national unemployment rate at 7.9% that means there are 12.3 million jobless Americans. Of that the Employment Summary reports there are 4.7 million who have been been jobless for 27 weeks or more and are deemed long term unemployed. This group of long term unemployed represent 38.1 percent of the total national unemployment.
Not counted in the January national unemployment rate are 8 million involuntary part time workers in because they cannot find full time work or because their hours worked have been cut. Another category not counted in the national unemployment rate are the 2.4 million persons who are considered marginally attached to the labor force. This group is not counted as unemployed because they have not searched for work in the last four weeks. Among the marginally attached workers there are 804,000 discouraged workers who has simply given up because they do not believe there is a job out there for them.
When you add the 12.3 million unemployed, 8 million involuntary part time workers and 2.4 discouraged workers the sum is 22.7 million either unemployed or underemployed people. This is unchanged from the previous month and points to a unofficial unemployment rate of 14.6%.
To view the full report can go to http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/empsit.pdf. The next national Employment Situation report will be released by the Labor Department on March 8, 2013 that will cover February 2012.
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