Bottom line: Whoever wins on Tuesday inherits an economy that is still awfully weak and a jobs recovery that’s clearly gaining momentum
An amazing thing about the health care sector is that it expanded at the same rate both approaching the unemployment trough and coming out of it. Government is the odd duck, growing as unemployment increased and shedding jobs as the economy grew.
Read more. [Images: Bloomberg Briefs]
For most Americans, today’s jobs report was merely bad. For young people, though, the news was just downright awful.
After declining for most of the summer, the unemployment rate for workers between the ages of 16 and 19 popped up again, rising from 23.8 percent to 24.6 percent. Among 20-to-24 year olds, it hopped to 13.9 percent from 13.5 percent in July.
These numbers don’t necessarily mean that thousands of young people are suddenly getting laid off again. Rather, they’re a sign of how hard it still is for teens and early twenty-somethings to find work.
Read more. [Image: Jordan Weissmann]
The unemployment rate fell to 8.1%, the lowest since January 2009. But don’t mistake that decent-sounding factoid for good news. Job creation barely broke even with population growth, and the entire drop was caused by people leaving the labor force. Here’s the long story: Jobs are recovering at about the same rate as they did after the 2001 and 1990 recession, except they’re recovering from a much, much, much deeper recession. […]
The economy is now officially behind schedule compared to 2011. Average monthly job gains last year? 153,000. This year? 139,000. Over the past three months, the average has slipped to 94,000. That is probably either at, or just below, the rate of population growth. In other words, three years into recovery, we are adding people slowly and adding jobs even slower.
Read more. [Image: Calculated Risk]
Mid-wage jobs, such as construction trades and secretaries, accounted for 60 percent of our employment drop during the recession but made up just 22 percent of the recovery through the first quarter of 2012, according to the most recent Current Population Survey data.
Read more. [Image: National Employment Law Project]
Pop quiz: What’s the biggest menace to the economy right now? Is it: (1) the budget deficit, (2) inflation, or (3) long-term unemployment? The presidential campaigns will tell you it’s the deficit. The Federal Reserve might tell you it’s inflation. But with our debt cheap and inflation low, it’s clear that the right-now crisis is that people out of work can’t find their way back in.
Long-term unemployment hasn’t been this high since the Great Depression. It’s an economic scourge because the longer you’re out of work, the harder it is to get work. Employers lose confidence in the jobless and the jobless lose skills the longer they go without a job. Stay unemployed too long and you become unemployable.
Read more. [Image: St. Louis FRED]
The U.S. economic recovery has been anemic by almost any standard. But for Americans with just a high school degree or less, it’s been worse than anemic. It’s been non-existent.
This week, Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce published a new report breaking down job growth during and after the Great Recession by education levels. And as it illustrates in the graph above, employment has been essentially flat since January 2010 for adults who never went to college.
Here’s what that translates too: For about 38 percent of working age Americans, there has been absolutely no growth in the job market since it bottomed out more than two years ago. To get a job, you’ve essentially had to hope someone else lost or left theirs.
Read more. [Image: Georgetown University]