blush the recent Bureau of Labor Statistics unemployment
report is encouraging.
shows that our national economy created more than
120,000 net new jobs in the last month. It also reveals
that an average of more than 100,000 net new jobs have
been created in each of the past three months. Most of
the new hiring is being done by small businesses that
traditionally create three out of every four new jobs.
alleges the national unemployment rate to be at 8.6
percent. This is down four tenths of one percent in only
the last month. These labor trends are certainly
closer reading of the Bureau’s report is less
points out that 315,000 fewer people applied for work
during the last month. What that really means is that
more than 300,000 workers have exhausted their
unemployment benefits without finding a job. The Bureau
no longer counts them as unemployed workers because they
are no longer seeking unemployment benefits. The report
indicates that nearly half of the alleged improvement in
national employment is comprised of workers who have
“aged out” of unemployment benefits but that still have
not found work.
percent of eligible workers are currently participating
in the American workforce. The historically high 36
percent that are not working is comprised of a backlog
of about 13.3 million officially unemployed workers plus
the hundreds of thousands who have left the labor force.
The average period of time that an American worker is
unemployed is at and all time high of 40.9 weeks. Within
the next twelve months, more than three and one half
million more unemployed workers will officially not be
counted as unemployed in the event that the Bureau of
Labor continues its existing accounting methods and if
the current employment trends persist.
also explains that our normal population growth requires
our national economy to create about 150,000 net new
jobs each month in order to just maintain the current
rate of employment. These new potential members of the
workforce run the gamut from kids dropping out of
school, high school graduates, junior college and
university graduates, immigrants looking for work as
well as additional family members seeking employment to
bolster family budgets. Most of these potential workers
are not counted as unemployed because they have not
previously been employed. However, our national economy
is only creating about 100,000 net new jobs per month.
That is about 50,000 fewer jobs each month than is
required to maintain a constant rate of employment.
combination of 300,000 workers aging out of unemployment
benefits each month, and 50,000 fewer jobs being created
than are needed to meet our normal employment population
growth each month, calculates to a potential of more
than four million uncounted unemployed workers within
the next twelve months.
report also points out that a high percentage of the new
jobs being created are low to moderate paying retail
employment that may be temporary or seasonal. Their
figures show that creation of medium to high paying
manufacturing and construction jobs remain stagnant.
and federal governments should be required to provide
their U6 unemployment estimates to the public. That
calculation attempts to capture all those who want full
time employment but are not able to secure a full time
job. It includes those who have not previously been
employed, those who have been unemployed too long to
receive unemployment benefits, previously self employed
people who are no longer working and folks who are
working less than full time, that want a full time job.
U6 unemployment rate continues to hover around 16
percent. That U6 rate exceeds twenty five percent in
many rural areas. In my opinion, that rate is the only
statistic that has meaning to struggling families. They
do not need to be regaled with employment figures that
are purposely misleading because they are politically
expedient. Citizens deserve to be told the truth.
remember, if we do not stand up for rural Oregon… no one