An Upside Down Employment Report

Fri, 02 Oct 2009 13:07:26 +0000

From the BLS this morning, everything you would like to be heading down moved up, and everything you would like to be heading up moved down. The top line number was a net loss of 263,000 jobs in September, with the unemployment rate rising to 9.8 percent. Digging a bit beneath the headlines, the labor force participation rate fell to 65.2 percent and the employment to population ratio fell to 58.8 percent. Recent media attention has focused on U-6 (found in Table A-12 of the release), which is an alternative measure of the unemployment rate designed to include marginally attached (including discouraged) workers and those employed part-time for economic reasons. It rose to 17.0 percent. Here's the historical time series of U-6, decomposed into the official unemployment rate plus the individual increments:

From CGG