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The employment situation for August is improved as per the report of the U.S Department of Labor. With this sustained growth, the country seems to be getting brighter by each passing month. The year 2015 has probably been the finest in the current decade with sustained progression across sectors and demographics.

As a part of our monthly commitment, we bring to you, pleasant news from the U.S Department of Labor, reporting the employment situation in the US for August. The Bureau of Labor Statistics published its monthly dossier earlier this month, throwing light on the Employment Situation in the USA.

Titled “THE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION — AUGUST 2015”, this release provides a comprehensive break up of employment statistics and data. Let us unravel key aspects that touch your world.  The overall unemployment fell to 5.1%, bringing cheers to the efforts of government agencies. The total payroll employment(non-farm) edged up by 173,000 during this month. Compared to the same period in 2014, the jobless rate was down by 1.0% complemented by fall in unemployed persons by 1.5 million.

Unemployment Rate Among Major Workers Groups

  • Adult Men – 4.7%
  • Adult Women – 4.7%
  • Teenagers – 16.9%

The jobless rate for teenagers continued to trend up while the other two categories witnessed a negligible fall. The focus for government agencies in the next few months should be to improve job environment for teens.

Unemployment Rate Among Ethnic Groups

  • Blacks – 9.5%
  • Asians – 3.5%
  • Whites – 4.4%
  • Hispanics – 6.6%

Except for whites, none of the other ethnic groups witnessed a considerable fall in jobless rates.

General Highlights

  • People falling in the category of unemployed for less than 5 weeks fell by a whopping 393,000 to stand at 2.1 million during the month of August.
  • Around 2.2 million people were grouped as long term unemployed(jobless for more than 27 weeks) accounting for 27.7 % of unemployed persons in August. Numbers in this division has been freefalling over the last 12 months justified by reduction of about 779,000.
  • About 6.5 million persons were employed part-time for economic reasons in August. People in this division could not work full time due to a deliberation from the employer(Eg. Hours cut).
  • The number of persons marginally attached to the labor force stood at 1.8 million, down by 329,000 from the same month in 2014. This category is not considered as unemployed since people did not search for jobs during the 4 weeks immediately preceding this survey.
  • About 624,000 workers were classified as discouraged workers, down by 151,000 from August 2014.  This category of workers has stopped looking for jobs since they believe jobs are not available for them due to various reasons.

Establishment Survey Data

Non-farm payroll employment growth averaged 247,000(monthly) in the last 12 months. Formidable among all sectors were Health Care and Social Assistance, which added 56,000 jobs during August 2015. Employment in Manufacturing reduced by 17,000 jobs in August followed by the Mining industry which lost 9,000 jobs.

Employment Status for August in Various Industries(Top Performing)

1) Health care and Social Assistance stood strong on top of the charts with additions of 41,000 and 16,000 respectively. Over the year, employment in Health care surged up by 457,000 while the Social Assistance sector added 107,000 jobs.

  • Ambulatory Health Care Services – +21,000 jobs
  • Hospitals – +16,000 jobs

2) The Financial Activities sector also performed well by adding 19,000 jobs and clocking an impressive over the year surge of 170,000 jobs.

  • Real Estate – +8,000 jobs
  • Securities, Commodity Contracts & Investments – +5,000

** From making significant job additions in July, Manufacturing lost around 17,000 jobs in August. Since the beginning of 2015, this sector has seen minor falls and gains.

  • Fabricated Metal Products & Food Manufacturing -7,000 each
  • Motor Vehicles and Parts – +6,000

All other major industries such as government, retail trade & construction did not see major changes in its employment numbers during August.

Other Highlights

  • The average workweek for all employees rose by 0.1 hours to 34.6 hours during this month.
  • The average workweek for persons employed in manufacturing was little changed from July at 40.8 hours and factory overtime averaged at 3.3 hours, down by 0.1 hours.
  • During August 2015, the average hourly earnings for all employees( private non-farm payroll) was up by 8 cents at $25.09.


Fast food employees in Chicago

Slow & steady, from New York to several Midwestern cities, thousands of fast-food personnel have been holding one-day strikes during peak meal times, quickly drawing national attention to their demands for higher wages.
Their chief demand is for a hike in hourly wage to $15 in times of surge in cost of living. Contemporary median hourly wage in the fast food industry is $9.05 which seems to be out of sync in gratifying basic amenities.

A Taco Bell worker, Sharise Stitt, 27, joined the strike, saying the $8.09 she earns after five years there was insufficient to support her family. She was evicted from her Detroit apartment and moved her family to her sister’s house in Taylor, Michigan. That means a 45-minute commute each way and a gas bill of $50 every four days. After taxes, she has about $900 a month to feed and clothe her three children. They receive food stamps.

Regrettably, none of the nation’s 200,000-plus fast-food restaurants are unionized.

The strategists know they want to achieve a $15 wage, but they seem to be ad-libbing on ways to get there. Perhaps they will seek to unionize workers at dozens of restaurants, although some labor leaders scoff at that idea because the turnover rate among fast-food employees is about 75 percent a year.

Limited career growth in the Fast Food Industry

Front-line jobs in the fast food industry—including cooks, cashiers, delivery workers, and other non- managerial positions—rank among the lowest-paying occupations in the U.S. economy. In response to growing criticism, industry spokespersons have defended low wages for front-line fast food workers by arguing that these jobs serve as stepping stones to higher-paying managerial positions, as well as opportunities to eventually own and operate a fast food franchise.
These claims, however, are not supported by the facts. Managerial positions account for only a tiny fraction of jobs in the fast food industry, and opportunities for franchise ownership are even fewer. Moreover, the substantial financial resources required to open a fast food franchise make entrepreneurship an unrealistic option for front-line fast food workers earning poverty-level wages.

Overwhelming Majority of Americans View Minimum Wage Increase as Important Priority for Congress over Next Year

Members of Congress call for passage of Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013 after four years without a federal minimum wage increase; rallies planned in over 30 cities across the country to demand higher wages for millions of America’s lowest-paid workers.

As four years pass without an increase in the federal minimum wage, a new poll released finds that 80 percent of Americans – including 62 percent of Republicans and 80 percent of Independents – support raising the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour and indexing it to the cost of living, as proposed in the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013 introduced by Sen. Tom Harkin and Rep. George Miller earlier this year. According to the poll, 74 percent of Americans consider raising the minimum wage to be an important legislative priority for Congress to address over the next year.

As members of Congress, business leaders, and workers gather in Washington on Wednesday to call for immediate passage of the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013, thousands of low-wage workers and their supporters in over 30 cities throughout the U.S. will hold rallies at major retail and fast food corporations, as part of a National Day of Action to raise wages for millions of America’s lowest-paid workers.

The Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013 would raise the federal minimum wage from the current rate of $7.25 to $10.10 per hour by 2015, and it would provide for annual increases to the rate in future years to keep pace with the rising cost of living, a key reform known as “indexing” that  ten states have already successfully implemented. The bill would also raise the minimum wage for tipped workers from its current low rate of $2.13 per hour, where it has been frozen since 1991, to 70 percent of the full minimum wage.

Unemployment rate seems to have found a steady decrease in the country but does not reflect the problems faced by workers. More on state unemployment rates here.

“The national jobless rates and stats remain stable, with little variation”.

The BLS (bureau of labor statistics) broad based report on “REGIONAL AND STATE EMPLOYMENT AND UNEMPLOYMENT —JUNE 2013” is out.

The national unemployment rates for June 2013 are the same as May 2013, glued at 7. 6 %, down 0.6 compared to June 2012. In June 2013, nonfarm payroll employment increased in 37 states, decreased in 12 states and the District of Columbia, and was unchanged in Arkansas. The largest over-the-month increases occurred in California (+30,200), Pennsylvania (+19,100), and Wisconsin (+17,500). The largest over the month shrinkage was seen in Tennessee (-16,500), followed by Ohio (-12,500) and New York (-11,400).

On annual basis, the largest over-the-year percentage increase occurred in Idaho (+3.0 percent), followed by Texas (+2.8 percent) and Colorado (+2.7 percent). The only over-the-year percentage slump occurred in Alaska (-0.4 percent) which is good prophecy for longer run.

Unemployment rates (state wise) for June 2013 are provided below.

Alabama 6.5
Alaska 6.1
Arizona 8.0
Arkansas 7.3
California 8.5
Colorado 7.0
Connecticut 8.1
Delaware 7.3
District of Columbia 8.5
Florida 7.1
Georgia 8.6
Hawaii 4.6
Idaho 6.4
Illinois 9.2
Indiana 8.4
Iowa 4.6
Kansas 5.8
Kentucky 8.4
Louisiana 7.0
Maine 6.8
Maryland 7.0
Massachusetts 7.0
Michigan 8.7
Minnesota 5.2
Mississippi 9.0
Missouri 6.9
Montana 5.4
Nebraska 4.0
Nevada 9.6
New Hampshire 5.2
New Jersey 8.7
New Mexico 6.8
New York 7.5
North Carolina 8.8
North Dakota 3.1
Ohio 7.2
Oklahoma 5.2
Oregon 7.9
Pennsylvania 7.5
Rhode Island 8.9
South Carolina 8.1
South Dakota 3.9
Tennessee 8.5
Texas 6.5
Utah 4.7
Vermont 4.4
Virginia 5.5
Washington 6.8
West Virginia 6.1
Wisconsin 6.8
Wyoming 4.6

Regional Unemployment

In June, the West sustained to have the highest regional jobless rate, 7.8 percent, while the South had the least rate, 7.2 percent. Over the month, no region had a statistically significant rate change. Significant over-the-year rate changes occurred in three regions: the West (-1.6 percentage points), Northeast (-0.7 point), and South (-0.6 point).

US Economy Exordium

The economic recovery of summer 2013 is playing out in an all-too-familiar way for poor and middle-class Americans: Gas prices are up, growth is slowing, and there still aren’t nearly enough new jobs to employ the almost 12 million people seeking work.

An improving housing market and rising stock prices appear to have done little to increase the take-home pay of the typical U.S. worker. And while the economy continues to heal faster than that of almost any other Western nation, evidence remains strong that the recovery has done little to boost the fortunes of people in the vast economic middle. Researchers at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco reported this week that wage growth across the economy is continuing to slow in the wake of the recession, in a way similar to the past two recessions but counter to previous recoveries in the 20th century. The researchers warned that wage growth is likely to decelerate “long after the jobless rate has returned to more normal levels.”

In an interview this week, officials at one of the nation’s most powerful labor groups, the AFL-CIO, made little attempt to hide their frustration with the pace and nature of the recovery.

“It’s a pathetic recovery,” said Thea Lee, an economist and the union’s deputy chief of staff. “It really is extraordinary that four years ago we declared the recession over, but we’re not even within spitting distance of full employment.”

Economic status around the World

Global GDP Growth

The graph above represents the movement of economies year on year. The developing countries like BRIC will continue to have an upper had compared to their advanced counterparts.

Turning to forecasts, growth in the United States is projected to rise from 1¾ percent in 2013 to 2¾ percent in 2014 The projections assume that the sequestration will remain in place until 2014, longer than previously projected, although the pace of fiscal consolidation will still slow.

In Japan, growth will average 2 percent in 2013, moderating to about 1¼ percent in 2014. The stronger forecast for 2013 than previously projected reflects the effects of recent accommodative policies on confidence and private demand, while the somewhat softer forecast for 2014 reflects the weaker global environment.

The euro area will remain in recession in 2013, with activity contracting by over ½ percent. Growth will rise to just under 1 percent in 2014, weaker than previously projected.