Reclaiming Common Sense

 If Good News is Recorded and Not Reported Did It Really Happen?

Record September Hires, Quits, and Total Separations

We received a strong Jobs Report this Friday, in case you didn't hear about it, or the stock upward push in the stock markets, plural, after the report was released.

  • "October Jobs Report Treat: Strong Worker Data" explained how the October data was "held back" a little because the September and August data were revised upward from their Advance and preliminary levels. Full-time jobs edged higher, as did part-time jobs. We had the most combined FT and PT jobs ever for a given month. More than the normal peak of July. Participation rose to the highest October level since 2012. That's just the Current Population Survey Data.
  • "October Workers and Wages Reveal Strong Economy" explained how we added 629,000 non-seasonally adjusted private sector workers last month. We saw the September data revised higher by 73,000 workers. This "deflated" the October numbers by 73,000. Month to month Growth recorded in Workers in all but two sectors. October to October growth was recorded in all but two sectors, different sectors. Month to Month Growth Reported in seven sectors, with no growth or a minor drop in three sectors. All Sectors received annual pay raises. All sectors say their average hourly wages rise October to October. 
  • How is President Trump doing compared to his predecessors in the run-up to the 2020 Election? The article "Five Presidents at 33 Months: Participation UP" explains how only President Trump and former President Clinton added millions of full-time jobs and reduced the unemployment levels during their first 33 months in office. President Trump has added 8.975 million full-time jobs so far compared to a loss of 359,000 full-time jobs for former President Obama at the 33 month mark.

This column has been writing on the "War on (Wo)Men over the past few years. Women lost fewer jobs than men during the Great Recession. Women recovered faster and have added more total jobs since the recession. There are more potential female workers than male workers, How arr.e men and women doing this October?

There are a record number of women working this October. The peak level of Pre-Recession Jobs were recorded, non-seasonally adjusted, during July 2007. Women lost 3.8 million full-time jobs between July 2007 and January 2010. They had fully recovered those lost jobs by February 2015. Women have since added 6.268 million FT jobs and another 1.108 million PT jobs through October of this year. This is an increase of 1.201 million FT jobs and 48,000 PT jobs over the past year.

Women are participating at a rate not seen since November 2011. Women have a non-seasonally adjusted participation rate of 57.96% this October. The Unemployment Rate was just 3.35%. The data for November 2011 were 57.89% and 7.95% respectively. The Unemployment Rate during October 2007 was 4.45% and the Participation rate was 59.40%. If we had the same participation rate this month as we had during October 2007  there would be 1.9 million more women with jobs. This means that the effective unemployment rate (U-7) would be 5.70%. This is very close to full employment compared to where we were during 2007.

There are an record number of October Men in the workforce. We normally hit "peak men in jobs" during July. Men lost 10.6 million full-time jobs between July 2007 and January 2010. Men did not recover all of their lost jobs until the Summer of 2016. Then they lost those jobs. They recovered them during 2017 before losing them again during January 2018. Men now have 2.5 million more FT jobs and 1.9 million more PT jobs than they had during July 2007. That is nearly 2 million jobs for 13.4 million more potential workers, Women, by comparison, have added 7.4 million jobs for 14.4 million more potential women workers.

Men are participating at a higher rate than they were during October 2017. They are also participating at a slightly lower rate than they were during October 2018.

  • October 2007: Participation 72.97% U-3: 4.38%
  • October 2017: Participation 68.95% U-3 3.94%
  • October 2018: Participation 69.13% U-3 3.50%
  • October 2019: Participation 69.08% U-3 3.35%

Jobs are up more than unemployment is down for men. there were 2.2 million unemployment men last October compared to 1.9 million this October. It took ten years to fall from 74.34% during July 2008 to 69.85% during July 2018. It will take a comparable period of time to fully recover.

We came close to a record level of October workers who were working multiple jobs. There were 8.351 million multiple job workers compared to 8.369 million during October of 1996. We had the second most number of FT PT job workers this October at 4.602 million. We had the second most PT PT job workers at 2.172 million. We set an October record of 377,000 people working two FT jobs. The balance worked "variable hours" or worked a Primary PT jobs and a secondary FT job. The graphics can be found here.

Men worked more Dual FT jobs than women during October. Women worked more Dual PT jobs this October than Men worked. There were 4.065 M men working two jobs compared to 4.286 million women. Men worked 2.471 million FT PT jobs compared to 2.131 million for women, Women worked 1.37 million PT PT jobs compared to just 801,000 men. Men worked 207,000 FT FT jobs compared to 169,000 for women. This was a huge spike for women from just 67,000 FT FT jobs last month and 114,000 FT FT jobs during October 2018.

Multiple Job Workers do not impact the participation rate nor the unemployment rate. There were roughly 159 million jobs for 259 million potential workers this month. If we had 159 million FT jobs and no unemployed workers and no part-time jobs or if we had 159 million unemployed workers and no jobs the n the participation rate would be calculated the same way to the same result (159 divided by 259.) Likewise, if we have 159 million workers working 159 million jobs or 150 million workers working 159 million jobs the number of jobs being worked remains the same. The unemployment level remains the same. The participation rate remains the same.

We have a smaller percentage of the workforce population working multiple jobs than we had during 1996. We have a similar percentage of people working multiple jobs as we had during October of 2008 and October 2016. The 5.07% October 2019 rate is comparable to the 5.04% rates for October 2008 and October 2016. It is notably lower than the 6.20% during October 1996 and the peak rate of 6.29% during November 1996.

Data sets matter. It is always important t remember that the Current Population Survey (CPS jobs and unemployment data is different from the Current Employment Statistics (CES) workers and wages data. The CPS data is different from the JOLTS Job Opening and Labor Turnover Survey data. JOLTS Hires are different than CES workers. The CPS U-3 Unemployment data i very different from the weekly continuing claims data. Comparing data from different data sets with different sample sizes and different margins of error is dicey at best.

You would think that an October record level of Men in the workforce or an all-time record of women in the workforce would be newsworthy. There are some commenting on the record low women unemployment rate. Very few people discuss the multiple job worker data. We still need millions of jobs to meet the needs of the growing workforce population. Full-time jobs are increasing for both men and women. Men and women are participating at a higher rate than they have in years. 

It's the Economy.