Reclaiming Common Sense

The September Jobs Report, or employment situation report, was released amidst the drama of the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation process. Men and women were watching to see if the new normal was going to be guilt by accusation. Was it going to be guilty until proven innocent? Was this just a "job interview," or a "trial by press/mob rule" situation? The jobs report was actually quite good. The seasonally adjusted (SA) Current Employment Statistics (CES) private sector number was a gain of 121,000. This normally would not be a great number. The August data was revised up by 69,000 workers which meant that 190,000 SA private sector workers were added to the economy. This and other information was covered in the article "September Jobs Soar." Wages rocked higher in all categories, according the the CES data, non-seasonally adjusted. The article "Five Presidents at 20 months" reported that there have been over 6 million full-time jobs added to the economy since President Trump took office, according to the non-seasonally adjusted (NSA) Current Population Survey (CPS) Data. The data being addressed in this article has to do with the "War on (Wo)Men" data. How are men and women performing in the New Economy?

Women added over 900,000 jobs this month. How is that possible if we only added 121,000 seasonally adjusted private sector workers to the economy? This is the difference between the CES worker data and the CPS jobs data. This is the difference between the SA and NSA Data. There are more women working now than at any other time. Women are working 56.0 million full-time jobs and 17.3 million part-time jobs. There are also 2.8 million unemployed women. Women have added over 4.5 million full-time jobs since February of 2015. This is when they exited from their full-time jobs recession.

Women have seen their participation improve since September of 2015, and still dropped September to September. There is considerable discussion elsewhere that we are at "full-employment" because the total unemployment rate is under 4%. The problem is that the current 3.63% U-3 unemployment rate for women is with a participation rate of 57.09%. The last time we saw an unemployment rate this low during the Fall/Winter was December 2006 when the unemployment rate was 3.96% and the participation rate was 59.63%. A difference of 2.54% in the participation rate is significant. If we look at the September 2007 participation and unemployment rates we will see a similar situation. There is a 1.01% difference in the unemployment rate and a 2.38% difference in the participation rate. If we had the same participation rate as September 2007 then there would be 3.2 million more women in the workforce.

Men Shed Full-time Jobs and added part-time jobs this September. Men had a decline of 641,000 FT jobs, month to month, and an addition of 392,000 part-time jobs. It had taken longer for men to recover from their jobs recession. Women fully recovered at the beginning of 2015. Men recovered all of their lost full-time jobs, over 10 million of them, during the Summer of 2016, lost them again, recovered them and added to them during the Summer of 2017, and lost them again, before recovering and adding more Full-time jobs to their totals than they did during 2016 or 2017. This is a pattern that we saw during 2005, 2006, and 2007. Men are up 4.3 million full-time jobs and 1.1 million PT jobs compared to September 2007.

Men have am Unemployment Rate under 4% at the expense of a participation rate under 70%. If we run the same comparison as we did with the women then there are 3.9 million missing workers. There are more missing workers than unemployed workers. This is the same story as with women. Women have more missing workers than unemployed workers.  Men have an effective unemployment rate of nearly 8.00%. This is not "full-employment."

Men are working more dual fill-time jobs than women. Women are working more dual part-time jobs than men. There were  201,000 Men who worked  Dual Full-time jobs compared to the 130,000 women who did the same. Men only worked 736,000 dual part-time jobs while 1.315 million women worked dual part-time jobs. This makes sense based on the overall data. Men worked 74.4 million full-time jobs compared to women who worked 56.1 million FT Jobs. Women worked 17.3 million PT jobs compared to 9.4 million men. There were 7 million more female workers than male workers during September 2007. That gap is now 9 million workers, or potential workers. There are 11 million more male participants than female participants.

There is seasonality to all of the data. This is the reason why the Government publishes seasonally adjusted data as the headline news. The problem is that as people are leaving the workforce, going back to school, managing households, or being displaced, the public is left scratching their heads. "How is the economy growing and I can't find work?" We know that all sectors added workers September to September except Information Technology, non-seasonally adjusted. Month to month only Education and Health Services and the Government Sector added workers. There are many more ways to examine the data. This column will produce further analysis on the dual job worker data and on the "Red, Gray, and Blue" aging workforce.

It's the economy.