Reclaiming Common Sense

Another Misunderstood Jobs Report

Record December Level December Men and Women Working

This month we have received the first wave of the final economic reports for 2019. We received the December ADP Private Sector Payroll Report, Weekly Unemployment Claims Data, and the December Employment Situation Report. The December ADP report surprised on the high side.

  • The December Employment Situation Report was moderately good, with a record level of December Workers (Current Employment Statistics - CES) and a record level of December full-time jobs (Current Population Survey - CPS.) This was covered in the article "Dec. Jobs Report: Santa's Surprise."
  • All sectors grew December to December except Mining and Logging. All sectors received wage increases, including Mining and Logging. This was all covered in "Dec. Wages and Workers - Annual Gains Across the Board."
  • President Trump has created more full-time jobs during his first 35 months in office than former Presidents Reagan, Clinton, George W Bush and Obama created during their first 35 months in office - singularly or collectively - during their 140 months. He and former President Clinton were the only Presidents to create full-time jobs and cut unemployed workers during their first 35 months in office. This is covered in "Five Presidents at 35 months."
  • Men and women have increased their number of jobs since December 2016. Women have added more total jobs compared to where they were during December 2007. Men still work more full-time jobs than women. Women still work more part-time jobs than men. This is all covered in :"Men and Women Winning This December."

There has been a considerable amount of discussion that the participation rate declined under former President Obama because a record number of Baby Boomers were reaching retirement age. What if they aren't really retiring?

There are more people 65-69 years old working now than those 16-19 years old.  There used to be 5.679 million jobs for 17.056 million teens during December 2007. Those numbers are now 5.029 million jobs for 14.686 million teens.  There used to be 7.678 million jobs for 14.842 million workers between the  60-64 years of age. Now there are 11.663 million jobs for 20.768 million workers. It is even more significant for those 65-69 years of age where we used to have 3.266 million jobs for 11.014 million workers. That number this December is 5.985 million jobs for 17.549 million workers. You cab see that we had more workers 65-69 years of age than 16-19 years of age during December 2014.

We had 22.7 million people who were 45-49 years of age during December 2007. There were 18.275 million jobs being worked by those 45-49 years of age. This year the population number is 19.992 million and the number of jobs worked is down to 16.215 million jobs. Some of this shift is due to the situation where people who were 45-49 years of age during 2007 are twelve years older now. Some of those people are now in the 55-59 year rage and some may be in the 60-64 year age range.

Our youngest workers have the highest rates of unemployment. This was the case prior to the recession and is the case post-recession. The age group with this highest unemployment rate is the 16-19 year old range. This is followed by the 20-24 year olds and the 25-29 year olds.

Participation Matters. The participation rate for those 16-29 years old and 40-59 years of age are lower now than they were during December 2007.The age groups that have increased their participation rates are those 30-39 years old and those over the age of 60 years old.

What are the effective unemployment rates? This column has used a measure called the Effective Unemployment rate, or U-7, to compare unemployment rates with different participation rates. We have a lower unemployment level and a higher participation rate for those 60 years old and older. This means that these age groups have "negative unemployment." There should be more unemployed workers that we have These people are "over participating." Conversely, teens, and 20-somethings, are under-participating.  higher than their "Their effective unemployment rates are considerably higher than their unemployment rate was during December 2007.Is the unemployment rate for teens closer to 23% than 11%? Is the 20-24 year old unemployment rate 6.04% or 9.58%?

Our workforce is graying as people who were working 12 years ago are twelve years older now. People who were 40-44 years only during 2007 may be 52 to 56 years old right now. What we know is that we set a December record for employees aged 16-39 years of age and 50 years old and older. Unemployment levels dropped December to December for those 16-34 years old and 40 years old to 69 years old. December to December unemployment rose for those 70 years old and older. These workers want to work rather than retire.

It's The Economy.