By Steve Eggleston
Yesterday, the January 2014 jobs report was released. The toplines were a mixed bag, with a less-than-expected 113,000 jobs added on a seasonally-adjusted basis, to bring the total number of jobs to 137,499,000, and a methodology-influenced 638,000 increase in employment on a seasonally-adjusted basis, to bring the total number of employed to 145,224,000. That drove the unemployment rate down by 0.1 percentage point to 6.6% and the labor force participation rate and employment-population ratio up by 0.2 percentage points to 63.0% and 58.8% respectively.
Over the course of the last year, using unadjusted numbers, the economy added 2,238,000 jobs to 133,396,000, the number of employed increased by 1,912,000 to 143,526,000, the labor force participation rate fell by 1.3 percentage points to 62.5%, and the employment-population ratio increased by 0.2 percentage points to 58.1%.
Since Communists and socialists like to use five-year plans, and we have just passed the five-year point of the Obama Presidency, it is high time to review the performance of the economy on the jobs front during his tenure. Congratulations, Mr. President; your economy produced an unseasoned 3,431,000 net new jobs during your 5 years in office. Of course, that is only enough to provide jobs for just over 1 in 4 of the additional 12,176,000 added to the civilian noninstitutional population, otherwise known as the potential workforce, during your tenure. It also is 804,000 fewer jobs than existed in January 2008, which on a seasonal basis was the peak month before the Great Recession and your election.
The news is worse on the actual number of people employed. That only increased by an unseasoned 3,090,000 between January 2009 and January 2014, and is over 1 million below what it was in January 2008. As a percentage of population, the unseasoned employment-population ratio dropped from 59.8% in January 2009 to 58.1% in January 2014. That is, other than the other 4 Januarys of the Obama Presidency, the worst January since 1984 (57.7%). On a sesonally-adjusted basis, the 58.8% employment-population ratio in January 2014 is worse than every month between January 1984 (58.8%) and September 2009 (58.7%).
Of course, you and your party see that as a good thing considering your response to the Congressional Budget Office report finding that over 2 million full-time equivalent positions won’t exist in 2024 because of PlaceboCare.
The younger generations took the past 5 years directly in the shorts. The number of employed among the “prime workforce”, those between the ages of 25 and 54, decreased by 1,409,000 on an unseasoned basis over those 5 years to 94,512,000. That is, other than the prior four Januarys, the lowest January employment number since 1998 (94,196,000). As a percentage of the population, the 75.94% employment-population ratio among 25-54 year olds is a drop of 0.51 percentage points from January 2009’s 76.45%, and is, other than the 4 Januarys in between, the lowest January since 1985 (75.7%). On a seasonally-adjusted basis, the 76.5% employment-population ratio among 25-54 year olds is the lowest between June 1985 (76.4%) and March 2009 (76.2%).
It gets worse the younger one gets, at least in terms of percentage of the population actually working. The unseasoned employment-population ratio of those between 20 and 24, at 60.5%, is a drop of 1.8 percentage points from January 2009’s 62.3%, and is, other than the 4 Januarys in between, the lowest January since 1965 (59.1%). The last time prior to June 2009 (62.2%) the seasonally-adjusted employment-population ratio among those between 20 and 24 years old was as low as the current 62.3% was June 1971 (61.0%).
The worst fate is reserved for those just leaving high school, the 18-19 year olds. Only 33.4% of them on an unseasoned basis were working, a drop of 6.0 percentage points from January 2009’s 39.4%, and the worst January since records began in 1948. The seasonally-adjusted 35.8% employment-population ratio among 18-19 year olds is the 4th-worst month on record, behind only June 2010 (35.8%), June 2011 (35.7%) and July 2011 (35.5%).
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