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Friday, October 15, 2010

Breaking down the Sept 2010 Employment figures

When the Bureau of Labor Statistics releases its monthly report on employment numbers. the mainstream news lazily focuses only on the collective total, and whether its gone up or down compared to previous months.  Then politicians and spin doctors interpret that number to fit whatever economic agendas he/she has.   But I thought it would be interesting to really look closer at the numbers.

**  All quotes and statistics come from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Fri. Oct 8, 2010 news release

http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm

"Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate for adult men (9.8 percent), adult women (8.0 percent), teenagers (26.0 percent), whites (8.7 percent), blacks (16.1 percent), and Hispanics (12.4 percent) showed little or no change in September. The jobless rate for Asians was 6.4 percent, not seasonally adjusted."

2x as many blacks are unemployed compared to whites, and combined, over 1 in 4 blacks and Hispanic Americans can not find work.

"The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks and over), at 6.1 million"

That's 6.1 million American people who want to work- you, family, friends & neighbors

"Within leisure and hospitality, employment in food services and drinking places increased by 34,000 over the month and has risen by 104,000 thus far in 2010"

This means McDonalds burger flippers, waiters/waitresses, bartenders and motel/hotel clerks

"Within professional and business services, employment services added 28,000 jobs in September. Temporary help services accounted for most of the gain."

Temps receive no benefits and have absolutely no job security.  They can be dismissed at any time for any reason with the temp having no legal recourse to dispute.

"The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) rose by 612,000 over the month to 9.5 million. Over the past 2 months, the number of such workers has increased by 943,000. These individuals were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job"

9.5 million people working part time with no benefits, trying to either supplement their income because their primary job doesn't pay enough, or the job is the only non-temporary employment one can find in the job market currently

"Average hourly earnings of all employees on private nonfarm payrolls in- creased by 1 cent to $22.67 in September"

So the average American makes  $906.80/week..  $47,153.60 before taxes.   Remember an earlier post I wrote a week or so ago- A high school teenager working 25hrs a week at a $8/hr job will have more discretionary income at each month's end than an adult working 40hrs a week and making $40k/year.

PS: Referring back to another previous posting, Jennifer Lopez will be making $12million to appear on American Idol and essentially do nothing important.  It will take J.Lo approximately 8hrs, 15minutes to make equal to the average American salary in a year.

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