Jack Dunn - Reclaiming Common Sense

Employment Up for Almost Everyone Month to Month, Down April to April for those 40-54 years of age. There has been some misguided discussion by talking heads that the drop in participation rate over the term of President Obama;'s time in office was due to retiring Baby Boomers - those born after World War II and before 1965.  There is some age shift in the data. Those who were - years old during April 2007 were 45-49 years old during 2012 and are between 50-54 years old now. You can look at your own age group and see how you are doing. Those 25-29 during 2007 saw a huge drop in employment by April 2012. They are back at work. For those over the age of 40 during April 2007, fewer are working now than then. We have record levels for the month of April for workers over the age of 55

Unemployment Levels Dropped for Everyone under the Age of 70 during April. This was unreported this month. Unemployment fell below 7 million, non-seasonally adjusted, for the first time for the month of April since April 2007. We have fewer unemployed workers than April 2006 and April 2008. The problem is that the participation rate is lower than April 2006-2008 so the true unemployment rate is being masked. If you look at the data and ignore age shift you will see that there are elevated levels of unemployed workers over the age of fifty.

The monthly jobs report is one of the most anticipated reports during the month. The headline number is the seasonally adjusted (SA) Non-farm payroll number or the seasonally adjusted Private Sector number. These numbers are based on the Current Employment Statistics (CES) data. The other headline number tends to be the unemployment rate. This number, as well as the participation rate, is obtained through the Current Population Survey (CPS) data.There is much more information in the report, and this column attempts to address as many subjects as possible over the course of multiple articles.


What has been reported here so far? The April Jobs Report exceeded some expectations. We saw solid non-seasonally adjusted CPS job growth during April with nearly 1 million NSA Full-time jobs created. Unemployment Fell. The combination meant that the participation rate was relatively unchanged due to population growth. If we compare job creation and unemployment changes during the first three months of President Trump's Presidency with that of two term Presidents Reagan, Clinton, Bush and Obama you will find that participation matters. President Trump has added more full-time jobs than any of his predecessors, he has added some full-time jobs, and he has seen the largest drop in unemployment levels of any of his predecessors, while seeing the workforce population increase. The unemployment losses are muting the job gains with regard to participation levels. We have seen a broad range of job growth across the eleven sectors available. Ten Sectors saw their number of workers increase over their March 2017 Levels. Some sectors have not recovered to pre-recession levels. Men have seen the number of their -time jobs drop since July 2007. Men continued to recover full-time jobs during April. Men have added part-time jobs, and recovered full-time jobs since that time. Meanwhile, women have added both full-time jobs and part-time jobs since July 2007. Drops in participation have masked the true unemployment rates. Another situation that is masking the participation rate and the unempoyment rate is the elevated level of people working multipl jobs. The number of multiple job workers has fallen since March 2017 and still increased since April 2016.


Our Aging Workforce. Another way to examine the jobs data is to look at Workforce Population, Employment, and Unemployment by age group.The parallel column to this column  produced an article called "Red, Gray and Blue - The Aging Workforce." We have seen some changes in the workforce that could be partially attributed to baby Boomers retiring if it weren't the situation that we are seeing elevated levels of workers over the age of 60, 65, 70 and 75 years of age.

 The Workforce Population is Down Since 2016 for those 45 to 69 years of age. This is notable because the "age shift" that is expected over a period of five years is being seen over the course of just one year. Those who were 40 years of age and older have seen their workforce populations, plural, decline since 2007. we have record levels of people working, for the month of April, who are over the age of 55, including those over the age of 75. Down is Up.We also have record April levels of those over the age of 55 working. Our aging workforce isn't retiring, it is working.


Workforce Participation Rates , Unemployment Rates, A Employment Rates Tell Similar Stories.  The workforce participation rates, by age, are mixed compared to April 2016. The participation rate for those who were 40 years of age and older during 2012 are Down. The Employment rate shows a similar trend. The employment rate for workers over the age of 55 are at the highest levels since 2007. Age shift does mean people who were 55-59 during 2007 participated at a lower rate during 2012 and again during 2017.  The Unemployment rate data is here if you care about it. The media does not appear to have any interest in it, why should we?


The data is the data. Jobs are up, non-seasonally adjusted. Jobs for men and women are up. Multiple job workers are working more jobs this April than Last April and fewer multiple jobs than this most recent March. Younger people, depending on how you define young, are working more and older workers are working less, with regard to age drift, and more if you look at the fixed age group.  Older people are not pulling down the participation rate - they are participating more than ever during the month of April, since April 2005. Those over the age of 40 are playing havoc with the statistics.


It's the economy.