Friday, September 6, 2013

Run At Aug '13 Numbers

With all the distraction issues these days, many have taken their eye off the ball of the domestic economic conditions.

Despite an announced delay in the "employer mandate" portion of the PPACA, companies continue to convert full-time positions to part-time, causing an artificial drop in the U3 unemployment, reported down to 7.3% by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The number of unemployed has remained relatively unchanged as have the numbers of "marginally attached" and the computed (skewed) number of those working part-time due to economic conditions.

However, the workforce participation rate continues to drop, and is now at a 30 year low of 63.2%. Over 300,000 more people quit looking for work, leaving the workforce.

Comparing to August 2008, during Bush's last year in office, the numbers are dismal. If the workforce participation rate were the same and both U3 and U6 unemployment were calculated given those figures, the numbers the BLS released, today, for August '13 would be closer to the following:

Population: 245, 959,000

AUG '13 WRP = 63.2  AUG '08 WPR = 66.1

So, the workforce would be 162,578,899 instead of the 155,486,000 the BLS reported.

With that WPR, U3 unemployment would be 11.3%, 4% higher than what the BLS reported. That should raise some eyebrows as to how the economy is far from improving.

The U6 rate (unemployed plus underemployed) is listed as 12.4%. Using Aug '08 WPR fugures, that changed the U6 to be, in reality, closer to 16.2%. That is unacceptable.