Reclaiming Common Sense

There is a considerable amount of data in the Monthly Employment Situation Report, or Jobs Report. Some of the data is seasonally adjusted (SA) while some of the data is non-seasonally adjusted. The problem with seasonally adjusted data is that the seasonal factors used to convert the NSA data to the SA data changes month to month, season to season, and year to year. The best way to compare data is to compare same month data because, in theory, the seasonal factors should offset each other.The April data data that this column has already been analyzed in a series of articles:

This should bode well for everyone. The problem has been that there has been a "War on Men," not a "War on Women" as was posited during the 2012 election. Men lost over 10 million full-time jobs between July 2007, the peak of the pre-recession jobs market, and January 2010, the trough of the Great Recession. Women lost just over 3 million full-time jobs during the economy. The Current Population Survey (CPS) provides the data for full-time and part-time jobs.It took until the Summer of 2017 for men to recover all of their lost full-time jobs, before they lost those jobs during the Fall and Winter of 2017. There were fewer men working Full-time jobs during January 2017 than July 2007.  What happened this month?

Men added 547,000 Full-time Jobs during April. The reason that you did not hear this anywhere else is because the headline number is the Current Employment Statistics (CES) worker number, and seasonally adjusted at that. There were more men working full-time jobs this April than an prior April. Men saw their unemployment level drop by 418,000 workers. There are 72.458 million men working full-time jobs and 10.152 million part-time jobs. Men saw their U-3 unemployment level drop by 418,000 workers last month

Women added 359,000 non-seasonally adjusted full-time jobs last month. Women shed 347,000 part-time jobs last month. Women also saw their unemployment level drop by 322,000 workers last month. Women were fully recovered from the jobs recession during February of 2015.

Participation Matters. Men had a participation rate of 73.01% during April 2007, the April before we hit peak employment. That rate now stands at 69.09%. A 4% drop in participation does not translate to a 4% drop in unemployment. The NSA U-3 unemployment rate for men is 3.90% compared to the U-3 rate of 4.47% during April 2007. When the difference in participation is factored into the equation the "real" unemployment rate is over 9.00%.

Women are participating less, too. The workforce participation rate for women dropped from 59.70% to 56.69%. The unemployment rate has fallen from 4.04% to 3.42%. Once again the "real" unemployment rate, the U-7 unemployment rate that factors in participation, is over 8.00%.

Women are working more part-time jobs than men are working. Women are working fewer full-time jobs than men are working. Women are participating at a lower rate than men are participating. Both genders are in an expansion mode for jobs. Both genders have a long way to go to return to pre-recession participation rates. Both genders have a huge gap between the number of jobs created and the growth in their workforce populations. We are not at full-employment. There are missing men and women who want jobs.

It's the economy.