Saturday, September 5, 2009

Job losses continue

The unemployment figures released by the US BLS for August show non-farm pay roll employment declined by 216,000 and the unemployment rate reached 9.7%, the highest rate in 26 years. Since the onset of recession in December 2007, the economy has lost 6.93 million jobs during the 20 consecutive months of job losses.

Economix compares the job losses in recent recessions as a share of employment and finds that the ongoing recession is the worst since the War.

Horizontal axis shows months. Vertical axis shows the ratio of that month’s nonfarm payrolls to the nonfarm payrolls at the start of recession. Note: Because employment is a lagging indicator, the dates for these employment trends are not exactly synchronized with National Bureau of Economic Research’s official business cycle dates.

Calculated Risk points to the percentage of job losses relative to the peak employment month and finds that it has touched 5% this time. It also writes that the long-term unemployment — which is the most destructive in human terms — is at its highest level recorded since the Depression.

It also has this graphic of the year-on-year change in employment and unemployment rates.

The percentage of teenagers who wanted a job and who could not find one was 25.5%, its highest level since the government began keeping track of such statistics in 1948.

Mark Thoma feels that job losses will continue to fall for some more time and points to links from other economists on the latest figures. More analysis of the unemployment figures from CR here.

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