Free Markets, Free People

Economic Statistics for 3 Feb 12

Today’s economic statistical releases:

Factory orders rose a very healthy 1.1% in December. November’s orders were also upwardly revised to a 2.2% jump.

A very strong ISM non-manufacturing report showed the index jump to 56.8—well above expectations—based on a huge jump in employment and new orders.

The Monster employment index fell to 133 in January from 140 in December.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 243,000 new net jobs were created last month, while the unemployment rate fell to 8.2%. Average hourly earnings increased 0.2%, and the average workweek rose to 34.5 hours. The new jobs came entirely from private payrolls, with private jobs increasing by 257,000. All is not quite as rosy as the headline numbers indicate, however:

  • Another 132,000 people left the labor force, as the labor force declined from 153,617,000 to 153,485,000.
  • The labor force participation rate declined to 63.4, the lowest since February, 1984.
  • The number of Americans who consider themselves employed rose to 139,944,000 from 139,869,000 last month, an increase of only 75,000. Meanwhile, the working age population rose from 239,618,00 to 424.269,000, an increase of 2,651,000.

So, some things to keep in mind might be a comparison of the peak of the last cycle’s employment, in November of 2007 to today. In making that comparison, some things become much clearer:

  • In November, 2007, 63.15% of Americans had a job. In Feburary, 2012, it was 57.76%.
  • In November, 2007, there were 147,118,000 Americans working. This month, that number was 139,944,000. That’s 7.1 million jobs that have disappeared.
  • If the labor force participation rate was the same today as it was in November 2007 (66.1%), today’s unemployment rate would be 12.61%.

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Dale Franks
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10 Responses to Economic Statistics for 3 Feb 12

  • Dale,

    “The labor force participation rate declined to 63.4, the lowest since February, 1884.”

    1884? Is that right? The lowest participation in 128 years? Or is that a typo?

    • @martinmcphillips Corrected. It should, of course, be 1894.

      • @DaleFranks You’re having one of my style dyslex days. 1984. I didn’t think that statistics like that were kept that far back.

  • Yes, February 1984. February 2012. It’s morning in America. Team Obama is very confident right now.

    • @scotterb

      That’s because… … you found a formula of statistics to misrepresent the situation to the public? Or, did you simply did not read or comprehend the whole article?

      • @jpm100 @scotterb I think he means that for Team America… sorry Team Obama… the only way is up. Just his Baghdad Bob Redux act.

        Alternatively he had one too many snifters after hitting the slopes and he got a bit confused.

    • @scotterb It’s morning in America so that implies the last three years were… dark night? And what is the first thing people do when they wake up in the morning? Stumble to the bathroom and relieve themselves of a heavy burden usually. Nice metaphor Prof!

  • All hail Obama & Sheriff Joe, Leaders of the Jobs Administration!

    Their strategy is to continue telingl us how great things are and boom times are just around the corner and of course the MSM continues to shill for them, the more people will believe. Truly believe and Obama will win re-election.

    Just think how bad things would be if they had not spent all that money on green jobs!

    All hail Obama & Sheriff Joe, Great Leaders who made JOBS the number one priority of first administration!

    For those folks who found jobs I am happy. For those folks who just quit looking,,,,,,,, I am so sorry. But enough about them, the statistics are great and things are finally looking up for Obama.

    All hail Obama & Sheriff Joe, Great Leaders who made JOBS the number one priority of first administration!

    Will that keep me out of the reeducation camps?