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State layoffs are holding the economy back

States are laying off workers like it is Halloween and they are getting candy for every worker laid off. More than almost anything else, states are now holding back our recovery.

From EPI:

State employment and unemployment data released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that the continued lack of momentum in the national labor market is translating into sluggish job growth and slowly rising unemployment for the majority of states.

Job growth throughout the states over the preceding three-month period (April 2012 to July 2012) was mixed, with 32 states and the District of Columbia adding jobs and 18 states experiencing job loss.  However, even the job growth in states that gained jobs over this period was not strong enough to prevent increases in the unemployment rate for all but six of these states (California, Kentucky, Massachusetts, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma and Utah) and the District of Columbia.

Three states—California, Nevada and Rhode Island—continue to have unemployment rates above 10 percent. The number of states with unemployment rates between 9 percent and 9.9 percent rose from five states in June to seven in July.

While nearly all states have added jobs and reduced unemployment over the past year, the most recent figures underscore the risk of letting the nation’s economy slip back into neutral.  Without action at the national level to accelerate lagging growth, state policymakers will face an uphill battle to bring down unemployment levels.


By |2012-08-21T20:46:21-04:00August 20th, 2012|Economy|1 Comment

Race and Moolah

Continuing my discussion on race, I was trying to figure out what is the best way to present the ideas of Derrick Bell. I think we can look at this data in almost any order. First, let’s look at unemployment data from 1972 up until the present.

Black and White Unemployment Rates

Although black unemployment reached the peak of almost 20% back in 1983, black unemployment seems to be 5 to 10% higher than white unemployment.

Household wealth. The disparity is mindnumbing.

Median Wealth by Race

Let’s jut look at those folks who are raking in the money, just the top 5%. Then let’s look at the lower limit income necessary to get into this group. These are mostly highly-educated folks. The income disparity should be minor.

As you look at this data, there is a persistent trend. Why? If you’re going to assume that everybody is created with approximately the same intelligence and that everybody who lives in America and has been born in America has approximately the same desire for success, what explains these disparities?

How do we explain this? Even if you’re going to say that the black population is more violent and more prone to criminal activity (which, in my opinion, is inherently untrue and probably a racist statement) why would this tendency or this trend increase over time? Is there something else going on?

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By |2012-04-05T20:48:51-04:00March 14th, 2012|Economy, Legal, Race|Comments Off on Race and Moolah

Losing Jobs.


The jobs picture in a word – sucks.


From EPI:

The nation’s job market showed clear signs of recessionary conditions as the jobless rate leapt up a half percent in May, from 5.0% to 5.5%, according to today’s report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This monthly increase was the largest since the mid-1980s, pushing unemployment to its highest rate since late 2004.

Payrolls contracted for the fifth month in a row, down 49,000 with most of the net job losses occurring in the construction industry, factories, offices, and retailers. Since total payrolls (public and private sector) peaked last December, they are down by 324,000 jobs. Since the government sector tends to be less cyclically affected by downturns, looking at just private-sector job loss can provide a more accurate gauge of the lagging economy’s impact on job growth; private-sector employment has fallen over the past six months by 411,000.

Although single month jumps in unemployment data should be judged cautiously, various factors suggest the spike in unemployment is not likely to be a statistical aberration and instead accurately reflects the weakening job market. First, it is consistent with the steady loss of jobs in the more accurate payroll survey. Second, as noted by the commissioner of the BLS, “The over-the-month jump in unemployment reflected additional workers who had lost their jobs as well as an upsurge in new and returning jobseekers.” (more…)

By |2008-06-07T21:28:22-04:00June 7th, 2008|Economy|3 Comments
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