Gallup: Workforce still declining

posted at 9:21 am on October 3, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

It’s almost certain that we won’t get the official Bureau of Labor Statistics jobs report for September tomorrow as scheduled, as BLS gets shut down as part of the non-essential federal government funding cut-off.  That leaves us with yesterday’s wan ADP private-sector report, today’s Labor Department weekly report on initial jobless claims, and Gallup.  The Labor report shows little change over the last few weeks, with the 308,000 new claims remaining near the five-year low:

The number of Americans filing new claims for jobless benefits edged higher last week but remained at pre-recession levels, a signal of growing strength in the labor market.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits rose 1,000 to a seasonally adjusted 308,000, the Labor Department said on Thursday.

The data could provide some of the strongest guidance this week on the health of the U.S.economy as a partial government shutdown delays the release of economic data, including the monthly employment report which was scheduled to be released on Friday.

New jobless claims have been falling for much of this year and for weeks there have been fewer of them than even before the 2007-09 recession began, a signal that the long cycle of elevated layoffs had ended.

Don’t break out the bubbly yet. The benchmarks of this series have at least an indirect relation to the overall workforce metrics.  As the workforce declines, the movement downward in this series gets less reflective of job-market strength, for obvious reasons.  Gallup, which uses similar methodology as the BLS (unlike ADP), sees a continuing fall in September for workforce participation that BLS shows at 35-year record lows:

The U.S. Payroll to Population employment rate (P2P), as measured by Gallup, fell slightly to 43.5% in September, from 43.7% in August. P2P has declined more than a percentage point from the 45.1% found in September 2012. …

Because of seasonal fluctuations, year-over-year comparisons are helpful in evaluating whether monthly changes are due to seasonal hiring patterns or true growth (or deterioration) in the percentage of people working full time for an employer. While the P2P rate for September is down from the same month last year, it is similar to what Gallup found in September 2011 and 2010 — meaning there has been essentially no growth in full-time employment for an employer since at least 2010, the first year Gallup polled on this measure.

The employment situation improved in the late summer and early fall of 2012, with the P2P rate in August through October increasing by more than one point over the same months in 2011. That momentum slowed in the winter, and the P2P rate has stayed the same or slightly declined for eight out of nine months this year, compared with the same months in 2012.

Although P2P is down, the percentage of Americans working full time for themselves has gone up slightly, but this does not account for all of the year-over-year decline in P2P. Full-time self-employment is at 5.3% in September, up from 5.1% in August and 5.0% in September 2012.

Gallup’s equivalent of U-3 unemployment rates, both unadjusted and adjusted, returned roughly to where they were in July after a big upward spike in August. The adjusted rate is at 7.9%, higher than all but two months in 2013.  Underemployment drifted down to 17.1%, the best reading in 2013, but far above the 15.9% reading in the fall of 2012.  Plus, part-time work is on the rise:

The percentage of part-time workers wanting full-time work was 9.4% in September, up from 8.7% in August and from 8.6% last September. This suggests the decline in the unemployment rate is actually due to more Americans taking part-time jobs rather than gaining the full-time employment they want.

The last Gallup chart shows the year-on-year problem in the job markets. The percentage of those employed full time for an employer dropped from 45.1% to 43.5%, while full-time self-employment only rose 0.3% in the same period. Workforce participation dropped form 68.2% to 67%.  Those forced to work part-time rose from 8.6% to 9.4%, while the underemployment rate rose 0.6%.

In other words, this is a job market in decline, more than four years after the technical recovery failed to return most of those made jobless in the Great Recession.


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It’s more of that blasted shutdown that went back in time 5 years or so and got the unemployment rate rising.

Gingotts on October 3, 2013 at 9:25 AM

Bayam!!!!!! We’re Growing!!!!!!

WryTrvllr on October 3, 2013 at 9:27 AM

Where’s that young lady with the blonde hair standing in line talking on her cell? Don’t tell me she finally got a part time job.

DaveDief on October 3, 2013 at 9:30 AM

Our ass is grass and Obama is the lawnmower…

PatriotRider on October 3, 2013 at 9:31 AM

DaveDief on October 3, 2013 at 9:30 AM

She got sick and died because of ObamaCare. They put her on a waiting list.

watertown on October 3, 2013 at 9:35 AM

And, still after all these many years, the Fed is still pumping $85 billion of digitised money into the economy every month and monetising the debt.

Just imagine what the jobs numbers and economic growth figures would look like without the needle!!!

FOREward!

Resist We Much on October 3, 2013 at 9:40 AM

Bayam!!!!!! We’re Growing!!!!!!

WryTrvllr on October 3, 2013 at 9:27 AM

It’s because of all of that amazing technological innovation in the insurance and medical industries due to Error404Care!

Resist We Much on October 3, 2013 at 9:42 AM

this report is racist

t8stlikchkn on October 3, 2013 at 9:46 AM

I have some reservations about those numbers. How does that part time breakdown work? I mean sure some people only want to work part time, but I would suspect the vast majority of them want full time employment. How can they tell the difference?

Johnnyreb on October 3, 2013 at 9:47 AM

JOB?

Why work? Just pursue your Art career and get yo free healtfcare and Obamaphone.

Playcations rock!

PappyD61 on October 3, 2013 at 9:53 AM

Where’s that young lady with the blonde hair standing in line talking on her cell? Don’t tell me she finally got a part time job.

DaveDief on October 3, 2013 at 9:30 AM

After spending the last 48 hours trying in vain to access the HHS DeathCare website she died of a massive deep vein thrombosis and tipped over, stone dead, mouse still clutched in her hand.

Soon enough the BLS will simply not count anyone and the unemployment rate will be 0.0%; Utopia will have been achieved.

Bishop on October 3, 2013 at 9:56 AM

This is a CRISIS!! We must hire more Ibamacare Navigators STAT!!!

Varchild on October 3, 2013 at 9:58 AM

Quick let’s grant amnesty then.

Oil Can on October 3, 2013 at 10:11 AM

Just like everything else to do with obacare the hard left had a lot of this stuff figured out before it happens.
In the unemployment realm they realized that the 32 hours or less mandate would actually create lots of jobs but they will mostly be part time employment while killng the full time worker.That’s undoubtedly by design.Doing so Increases chaos in the work place and helps destroy the economy. Also,it Helps the welfare syndrome the left thrives on.
The average new hire in todays world will proably be part time under 32 hours most likely at a low wage. While the stats will not catch up for years.
If you have to hire 20% more part time workers,especially as full timers retire, it will appear that employment is up when its really down.You would have to add up all the hours worked to figure it out.
Same with the unemployed workers seeking work who drop out and are not counted in the stats.
Its all rigged to benefit the socialits in order to make capitalism look as if it doesn’t work.
The destruction included in obamcare had to take years to figure out but some marxists somewhere did and we never saw it coming.

rodguy911 on October 3, 2013 at 10:15 AM

I’m actually somewhat confident that the last 2 weeks of (seasonally-adjusted) 300K-310K initial jobless claims is, finally, accurate. Of course, that means the esimtated (seasonally-adjusted) 35,000 who filed for initial jobless claims in California and Nevada who weren’t counted the first 2 weeks of September will never be counted on the initial side of the equation.

There’s also the question of whether this merely means that employers have run out of people to fire or if it means employers are preparing to hire again. It’s obvious from the lack of “robust” hiring the last couple months when initial jobless claims were in the 325K-330K range that the old AP/Reuters saw that initial jobless claims in the 350K-375K meant a “robust” job market were a bunch of Bravo Foxtrot Sierra.

Steve Eggleston on October 3, 2013 at 10:19 AM

After spending the last 48 hours trying in vain to access the HHS DeathCare website she died of a massive deep vein thrombosis and tipped over, stone dead, mouse still clutched in her hand.

LOL!! Permission to use all over the web,por favor!!

rodguy911 on October 3, 2013 at 10:20 AM

King Barry’s policies are producing results. Unfortunately, those results are just the opposite of what the public wants.

GarandFan on October 3, 2013 at 10:35 AM

Those recieving unemployment checks still have to buy health insurance.Will the premiums be deducted from the checks?

docflash on October 3, 2013 at 10:48 AM

After spending the last 48 hours trying in vain to access the HHS DeathCare website she died of a massive deep vein thrombosis and tipped over, stone dead, mouse still clutched in her hand.

Soon enough the BLS will simply not count anyone and the unemployment rate will be 0.0%; Utopia will have been achieved.

Bishop on October 3, 2013 at 9:56 AM

Bishop, you da man!

Steve Eggleston on October 3, 2013 at 10:50 AM

Keep voting democrat!

Murphy9 on October 3, 2013 at 10:51 AM

All Bush’s fault….

SPGuy on October 3, 2013 at 11:16 AM

After spending the last 48 hours trying in vain to access the HHS DeathCare website she died of a massive deep vein thrombosis and tipped over, stone dead, mouse still clutched in her hand.

Soon enough the BLS will simply not count anyone and the unemployment rate will be 0.0%; Utopia will have been achieved.

Bishop on October 3, 2013 at 9:56 AM

That’ tragic. But in her favor I guess she doesn’t have to deal with the hacking of her personal data and the identity theft and all that crap that goes with it. RIP.

DaveDief on October 3, 2013 at 1:44 PM