Strength in CPS Jobs and Unemployment Data

The CPS data was Strong for Men, Women, and Multiple Job Workers

The January Jobs report is marked by the situation that we will have very different Non-Seasonally Adjusted (NSA) data and Seasonally Adjusted Data story-lines. There are two data sets that go into the jobs report, or employment situation report, and they measure different things. The Current Population Survey (CPS) measures  jobs and unemployment data and the Current Employment Statistics (CES) measures workers and wages data. Normally January brings seasonally adjusted and non-seasonally adjusted data revisions for the CES data and only revisions to the seasonal factors, and therefore only the seasonally adjusted CPS data. We were advised months ago that the seasonally adjusted CES data was going to be revised down for the CES data with downward revisions for both the Private Sector CES data and the Non-Farm Payroll (NFP) CES data.  We did not trim as many NSA CES workers as expected.

The data was quite remarkable. The headline Seasonally Adjusted CES worker data was up 206,000 private sector workers and 225,000 seasonally adjusted non-farm payroll positions. Unemployment, part of the CPS data set, was at it's lowest unemployment rate since January 1967. This was covered in "Jan. Jobs Report: Revisions and Remarkable Data." Seasonally adjusted workers were up in ten out of eleven sectors month to month. They were also up in tens sectors January to January. Every sector received a pay raise last year, January to January. This was covered in "Record January Wages and Worker Data." The thing is that the CES data is only half the story. The Current Population Survey (CPS) data and the CES data were out of sync last year. What happened this month? The data for CPS jobs was at an all-time high, so it is no surprise that President Trump is outperforming on Jobs creation compared to former Presidents Reagan Clinton, George W, Bush and Obama. This was covered in "Five Presidents at 36 Months: Momentum."

Men and Women are Climbing the Jobs Mountain. This column, and its sister site "Reclaiming Common Sense," have been publishing articles regarding the "Jobs Iceberg" and the "Jobs Mountain" during the past six years. It was obvious from the data that full-time jobs were down and part-time jobs were up from their pre-recession highs during the 2011 and 2012 time-frame. The two websites were discussing the Jobs Iceberg until February 2017. There were fewer full-time jobs during all of 2008, 2009, and until 2016, than we had during July 2007. This created the "iceberg" because there were more part-time jobs on top of the iceberg, and more "negative" full-time jobs, under the waterline. The same phenomenon was found when comparing jobs creation for men and women during the same periods of time.

Men have the most combined January Jobs ever. Men lost 10.4 million full-time jobs between July 2007 and January 2010. When former President Obama left office during January 2017 there were 1.6 million fewer men working full-time jobs than there were working full-time jobs during July 2007. There was still a full-time job deficit for men as of January 2018. It wasn't until January 2019 that men had added 867,000 new full-time jobs. Men now are working 2.2 million more part-time (PT) jobs than they were working during July 2007. Men are also working 971,000 more full-time jobs (FT) than they were working during July 2007.  That isn't much growth over a period of almost 13 years.  The problem is that there have only been 3 million new jobs added to the economy for more than 13 million new male workers.

When more men are joining the workforce than jobs are being created the participation rate tends to decline. If the unemployment level was higher than it is right now those unemployed men would be considered participants. The January Unemployment rate was 5.87% with w participation rate of 72.59%. The January male unemployment rate peaked during  2010 at 12.34%. The participation rate was 70.86% during January 2010. The unemployment rate improved to 9.26% during January 2012 while the participation rate weakened to 69.60%. If we had the same participation rate this month as we did during January 2008 then there would be 4.776 million more men working. These are the effectively unemployed. If that 4.776 million is added to the 3.629 million officially unemployed then we would have an effective unemployment rate of 9.23%. This effective unemployment rate has been coined as the U-7 or effective unemployment rate. The January participation rate has been improving the past two years while the unemployment rate has been falling.

Women have seen the creation of more jobs since 2007 than men. Women have added 5.190 million full-time jobs and 1.329 million part-time jobs since 2007. Women lost 3.620 million full-time jobs from their July 2007 level. as of January 2010. Women have added 217,000 PT jobs and 990,000 FT jobs since January 2019. Women recovered their lost full-time jobs by the beginning of 2015.  This has finally caught he attention of the media. Women added 1.1 million total jobs last year versus 904,000 for men.

Women are participating at their highest January rate since January 2011.  Women had an unemployment rate of 4.81% and a participation rate of 59.25% during January 2008. Those numbers shifted to 8.60% and 58.13% during January 2011. The participation rate dipped to 57.59% during January 2012 with an unemployment rate of 8.33%. This is important for two reasons. First. January 2012 was an election year. Second, the participation rate this month is 57.59%. The U-3 unemployment rate is just 3.72%. The U

-7 for January, using the 2012 data, is only 3.63%. The U-7 using 2008 as the base is 6.42%. There is still room for for more than 2 million women to participate in this economy.

Another way to look at the CPS jobs data is the multiple job worker data. The government keeps track of the number of people working two full-time jobs (FT FT,) two part-time jobs (PT PT) and a primary FT job and a second PT job (FT PT.) They also keep track of the "variable hour workers." When these four categories are summed they do not equal the total MJH level that is published. This column uses a PT FT number to make the math work.

We set multiple records for multiple job workers for January this January.  We eclipsed 8 million multiple job workers, or multiple jobholders (MJH,)for January for the first time. We have eclipsed 8 million MJH during other month every month since July 2019. We eclipsed 8 million during October of 2016. The last time before that October that we eclipsed 8 million MJH was during December 1999.

We set a January record for people working a FT job and a secondary PT job. We had 4.528 million people working FT PT. This is up from last January's record of 4.452 million FT PT. The most FT PT workers during January we ever had prior to January 2019 was January 1998 when we had 4.342 million FT PT workers. We had a small workforce population during January 19998. We had a higher participation rate during January 1998. This number has room to grow.

We set a January Record for dual PT jobs Workers. We had 4.528 million PT PT workers this January. The highest level of PT PT workers during January was set last January with 4.452 million PT PT workers. The highest dual PT level recorded during January was January 1998 with 4.342 million PT PT workers. 

We almost set a record for dual FT Job workers during January.  We had a January record of 339,000 FT FT workers during January 2018. The prior highest level of FT FT for January was January 1999 when we had 326,000 FT FT. We tied that mark this January with 326,000 FT FT.

How are men and women doing with regard to working two jobs? Men worked 3.949 million MJH with 2.421 FT PT workers, 700,000 PT PT workers and 227,000 FT FT workers. Women worked 4.134 million MJH with 2.108 million FT PT, 1.347 million PT PT, and 99,000 FT FT workers. This is men and s not a surprise because men work more FT jobs than women. Women work more PT jobs than men. It makes sense that the FT PT numbers are comparable and the number of FT FT leans toward men and PT PT leans towards women.

A second job is the best form of unemployment insurance. There have been some "concerns" among "experts" that the seasonally adjusted continuing claims level is slightly higher than it was last year during the same week of the year. This past week we had the lowest Insured Unemployment Rate for the second week of January. We had the lowest first-time claims issuance rate for the third week of January. We have record levels of "covered insured." There are more than 2.179 million more covered insured this February than last February, so an additional 6,955 covered insured this February than last February could be a weekly adjustment. When you lose your first job, even if it is a full-time jobs, you are not eligible for first-time claims benefits.

We have more men working in the workforce this January than any previous January.. We have more women working in the January workforce. Men and women are participating more while being "less unemployed"this January.  We have January record for people working multiple jobs, FT PT jobs, dual PT PT jobs, and an elevated level of people working dual FT jobs. This should keep the first-time claims level near historic lows, and this should keep continuing claims level neat generational lows, which should mean that the CPS U-3 level should remain at our near multi-generational levels.

It's the Economy.

 Reclaiming Common Sense