Posts Tagged: Unemployment

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

US unemployment rate

— cigolo (@cigolo) May 2, 2014

Unemploy rates by education: No high school degree (8.9%), HS degree (6.3%), 2 yr deg or some college (5.7%), college+ (3.3%)

— Zachary Goldfarb (@Goldfarb) May 2, 2014

Labor force participation collapsed back to 62.8%…where it was in the late '70s.

— Matt Phillips (@MatthewPhillips) May 2, 2014

@MatthewPhillips Get ready for further collapse:

— kevin kane (@kevinjosephkane) May 2, 2014

Almost there! After April, we're just 120K jobs away from recovering all the jobs lost in the Great Recession!

— Matt Phillips (@MatthewPhillips) [...]


American Hero Who Killed Bin Laden Now Broke, Sad

"But the Shooter will discover soon enough that when he leaves after sixteen years in the Navy, his body filled with scar tissue, arthritis, tendonitis, eye damage, and blown disks, here is what he gets from his employer and a grateful nation: Nothing. No pension, no health care, and no protection for himself or his family." —Things have not worked out so well for the Seal Team 6 assassin who took out Osama bin Laden, America's most wanted global terror mastermind Bond villain. Update: Someone should have told him about the VA hospital though.


Unemployment Not Absolutely the Worst Ever!

This morning's new job numbers: what do they mean?

• The "u6"—that is, you nerds know, unemployed people plus "marginally attached" employed people plus people unwillingly employed part-time (as opposed to full-time)— is only 16.2%! Just like it was in August. Just like it was in June. Still, a year ago, it was 17%.

• There is a very, very slight trending uptick in men and young people getting jobs.

• Above: the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for the last ten years, for all people 16 and older.


"My family is eating stir-fried dandelions out of yards to keep from starving."

What are we to do about the disgusting plan to keep America's unemployment high? Since we're not marching on Washington, the right and the left aren't unifying on this issue on which we both agree and basically no one in the business world cares in the slightest, all we can do is create a few jobs ourselves and also keep putting out there what's really happening, which Yahoo!'s The Lookout is doing admirably. They've created a Tumblr where people tell their stories—lots of people. They got thousands of letters when they asked people to tell them what's really going on. You could just start here at the [...]


The Jobs Never Came Back

Hey, remember the recovery from the recession? When businesses were going to make money and then the jobs would come back? Paul Krugman looks at the non-recovery of employment today. Above is the graph since 1948. There were 422,000 new claims for unemployment benefits last week.


Understanding Your Unemployed Friend

Like pregnancy, divorce and anal sex, unemployment is one of those things you can’t possibly understand until it happens to you. Whether you left your job voluntarily or not, you never know what to expect until you’re knee-deep in “I have absolutely nothing to do.” Every day feels like the last day of a too-long vacation—you’re eager to get back to something, anything.

Likewise, the people in your life may not know how to deal with your predicament. There’s a good reason for this: unemployed people don’t like to talk about being unemployed. It's hard enough to find someone to talk to between the wasteland hours of 8 [...]


40 Million People Lived Off Unemployment? Everyone Start Hoarding!

"The White House made the case on Thursday that cutting off unemployment benefits would actually result in hundreds of thousands of more unemployed Americans." Ooh, hundreds of thousands? That's all you've got to scare Republicans into extending unemployment? Nice try! I mean, only 40 million people benefitted from unemployment since December 2007. (That's 14 million recipients, plus their households.) Besides, last week 436,000 applied for unemployment. Which is actually not far off from the two-year low! So what's a few hundred thousand more unemployed people?


Ask Polly: Jesus, My Struggling Writer Friends Never Shut Up!

Appearing here Wednesdays, Turning The Screw provides existential crisis counseling for the faint of heart. "Because you're still fucking up in the same ways you were before, only now you're too arrogant to notice."

Dear Polly,

How many times is too many to listen to a friend discuss their problems? I have several friends (mostly unemployed writers) who talk about the same thing over and over: namely, that they're not successful and don't know people who will help them, and yet don't do anything to change it. I literally have listened for over 30 minutes at least four times this week to the same friend who kept repeating him/herself [...]


Your Handy Guide to Understanding America's Jobs Situation

Do you want to be able to talk knowledgeably at fancy dinner parties with the ruling class about employment in America? Sure you do! So here are just a few simple graphs from our pals at the St. Louis Fed with a longer view—going back to either 2000 or to the early 90s, depending on data available—that explaining the trending in employment, hiring, unemployment and workforce participation in America. Above: what they call the "U6" number. That's the combined percentage of unemployed and underemployed, essentially.


Douglas Rushkoff: Why Do We Want "Jobs" Anyway?

I totally missed this bit of thinking from the other day by open source enthusiast Douglas Rushkoff. He's living in the Singularity already, so he can say that "on a very fundamental level, we have pretty much everything we need"—and we're just distributing it wrong, and "we don't have enough ways for people to work and prove that they deserve this stuff." So why do we all want jobs, he wants to know! Why are we all yapping about unemployment? On… a certain level, this is technically true! Even as a world-wide community, we probably have enough "things" (rice, couches, water, fabric) for everyone. Rushkoff seems a little [...]


The American Non-Recovery: Jobless Nation Still Lacks Jobs

The June unemployment numbers came out this morning and everyone is like, woof, this is horrible. The Department of Labor can't even make it look all that good in the press release: "The number of persons unemployed for less than 5 weeks increased by 412,000 in June. The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks and over) was essentially unchanged over the month, at 6.3 million, and accounted for 44.4 percent of the unemployed." Right. The "underemployment" rate is now 16.2 percent, essentially as high as it was a year ago. 14.1 million are officially unemployed, a rate of 9.2%. And the average unemployment period is [...]


Economists Just Can't Figure Out This Unemployment Thing

Would you like to play get the economist? Reading Chicago economics prof Casey Mulligan trying to make sense of job losses in the recession is fun for everyone.

It's this kind of fun: "Payroll spending now exceeds what it was when the recession began, yet employment remains millions lower. Apparently, payroll spending is not enough to bring those jobs back." Hmm, if only I could find a model that accounts for that! Is there any conceivable reason that there would be fewer people making, all told, more money in America today?

This is what happens when people start working with pure numbers: real-world motivations stop making [...]


Far Fewer Workers Means a Much Better Unemployment Rate

The "real" unemployment number fell from 16.7% to 16.1% in January. The "actual" unemployment number went down to just 9%—even though there weren't a lot of jobs created in the month. The current number of unemployed people is now 13.9 million people. (Just FYI, Canada created 69,000 jobs in January!) People are still making sense of these job numbers. One thing that helps make sense of them is that the actual number of people in the labor force is now smaller, by half a million people. So yes! Unemployment is down! Fewer people consider themselves workers.


Now Nobody Will Hire Anybody, Because Who Knows What'll Happen Next Year?

There were 457,000 new unemployment claims last week. Your President (he's still President, by the way; didn't get voted out this week!) is still advocating for the Congress to extend unemployment benefits for all the old, boring unemployed, much of the total mass of the official 14.8 million jobless, most of whom ran out or are going to soon run out of the unemployment insurance. Who knows? Because, things get fun early next year. Or as the Washington Post put it, the "energetic conservative base is eager to thwart President Obama's every move." Yay, every move! Also there are the 2000 about-to-be unemployed Democrats in D.C. [...]


12 Million Americans Still Unemployed: Things Are Looking Up!

How is 7.7% unemployment considered good news? When it's a little less than 7.9%, and people with money are ready to find good news wherever they look.

The housing markets are booming, where the rich people live. The stock markets haven't gone so high since Dick Cheney was in the White House—except for the NASDAQ, which still hasn't recovered completely from the dot-com bust of 2000, even though the tech companies are doing pretty well and NASDAQ stocks are at a 12-year high. Monthly rents in San Francisco now average $2,700 for a one-bedroom apartment. New car sales are back to pre-recession numbers.

And 12 million working-age Americans [...]


Disposable Teens

The comments on this Dealbook piece about how Wall Street has reconstituted the notion of employment as bottom-line cyclical churn are 100% mean, as you'd expect. ("I can't help but wonder if any of these laid-off wunderkinds ever ask themselves whether they contributed to the current economic situation," for example. And: "My God these people are pathetic. Even when they're laid off and collecting unemployment, they still sound like insufferable snobs.") But the sheer numbers involved in the way financial firms chew up and spit out young people are pretty bad. These are the very kids who were the children of the subjects of New York magazine parenting [...]


Top Three Fun Facts About America Tossing People Overboard from '07 to '09

The IRS did an analysis of the 2009 tax year, and some interesting and not surprising things happened!

• More than 3% of households that had job income in 2007 had none in 2009.

• America's average household income fell 13.7% from 2007 to 2009.

• Two million fewer people filed tax returns from 2007 to 2009.

Goodbye! America doesn't need you.


The New American Workplace Sucks (For a Reason)

Up in the corner offices, there's a growing recognition that unrealistic demands on time are destroying the souls of… executives. "Always-on, multitasking work environments are killing productivity, dampening creativity, and making us unhappy," notes a recent article in McKinsey Quarterly, the research publication of the giant global consulting firm that has been corporate America's chief efficiency cheerleader. "These scourges hit CEOs and their colleagues in the C-suite particularly hard." McKinsey's advice to beleaguered execs? Do one thing at a time; delegate; take more breaks.

Just try telling that to the millions of people whose work has been downsized, offshored, and sped up thanks to McKinsey.

You've been [...]


I Am David Brooks' Lazy, Unemployable "Missing Man"

Hey, David Brooks wrote a column about me! I am one of the 20% of American men of "prime" working age who does not have a job. And apparently we are destroying America by not "getting up and going to work." Oh yes: "In 1954, about 96 percent of American men between the ages of 25 and 54 worked. Today that number is around 80 percent. One-fifth of all men in their prime working ages are not getting up and going to work."

The real menace here is that we are apparently draining Social Security, which is headed for a complete state of brokeness in the not very [...]


Do Extended Unemployment Benefits Increase Unemployment? No.

Goldman Sachs released a report today Wednesday for its clients about unemployment, and finds that extension of unemployment benefits in a recession does not actually make workers lazy and unwilling to work.