Reclaiming Common Sense

The 2012 election was the "War on Women" election. The 2016 election was the "Deplorables" versus the "I'm With Her" election. There were quite a few people who were lamenting the plight of the working woman while ignoring the unemployed man. This column has been digging into the data regarding the "Jobs Iceberg" where we were creating part-time jobs while losing full-time jobs. What has been found is that men lost the most during the great recession - men lost 10.8 million full-time jobs to the women losing 3.6 million full-time jobs jobs. It has also been found that women have added more jobs since the great recession than men, both full-time and part-time jobs. Meanwhile, men still have fewer full-time jobs and more part-time jobs than at the peak of the pre-recession job market month of July 2007. We have two different job markets - one for men and one for women.

Men Lost 20,000 Full-time Jobs and added 416,000 full-time jobs last month. The jobs iceberg shows that Men momentarily recovered all of the full-time jobs lost during the Great Recession this past Summer. The problem is that we have only seen 585,000 jobs created for 10.6 million more men since July 2007. Is there any question as to why there has been wage stagnation? The good news is that unemployment fell by 51,000 men.

Women added 47,000 part-time jobs and 616,000 full-time jobs.  You may have heard that we only added 227,000 private sector workers last month. That was seasonally adjusted. This data for men and women are the true jobs data - non-seasonally adjusted jobs. Also, the seasonal factors used to report the seasonally adjusted data was skewed low. The ADP report had an addition of 298,000 seasonally adjusted jobs. The reality is that if we used the 2016 seasonal factor it would have been reported at 273,000 "jobs" added. If we used the 2015 seasonal factor the number would have been reported at 312,000. If we used the February 2009 seasonal factor then we would have seen a number of 453,000 workers added to the economy.  We added over 1 million jobs during February - non-seasonally adjusted.

There are more unemployed men right now than during July 2007. You can see from the accompanying graph that men saw their unemployment levels spike at roughly the same time as they lost the most full-time jobs - this makes sense. Women did not see their unemployment numbers peak until the Summer of 20010, and were fairly consistently high during the Summers of 2009, 2011, and 2012. Unemployment levels fell for men and women this February. Men saw their numbers decline by 51,000 workers while women saw their unemployed worker level drop by 211,000 women.

Men and Women are Participating Less than July 2007. The participation rate for men peaked during July 2008 - the combination of the employed and unemployed as a fraction of their workforce population. Men were participating at a rate of 74.34% to this month's 68.85%. Women  saw their participation rate peak the following July - July 2009 - at 59.89%. Now women have a participation rate of 57.00%. This difference in participation rates is masking the true unemployment rate.

The Effective Unemployment rate for Men is  really 12.23%. The "Five Presidents, Month One, Participation Matter"article explains the impact of participation on the unemployment rate.The U-7 rate for men and women should be reported.

Men and women are recovering in different ways. Women have added full-time jobs, men are adding part-time jobs and struggling to return to pre-recession levels of full-time employment.

It's the economy.