FileUnemployment

The employment situation for the month of July has seen little changes from the previous month. The unemployment rate remains at 3.7 percent in July, indicating that the rate remains unchanged.

The job growth, however, has not increased in comparison to the previous month. The important news to emerge from the ‘Employment Situation Report- July 2019’ is that the job growth numbers given for May and June have been revised. The total payroll gain is reported to be 41,000 less than that was previously reported for May and June combined.

The payroll increase for May is revised to 62,000 from the earlier reported figure of 72,000. The increase for the month of June is revised to 193,000 from the previously reported 224,000.

The nonfarm payroll jobs increase reported for the month of July is 164,000. The figure is lower than the newly revised figure of the previous month.

Establishment Survey Data

The job gain in July is in line with the average employment growth in the first six months of 2019. Some of the notable contributors in creating jobs for July are professional and technical services, health care, social assistance, and financial activities.

Professional and technical services added nearly 31,000 jobs for the month of July. This also takes the yearly average of the sector to 300,000, which accounts for one-third of all jobs created in the last year.

The jobs created by the healthcare sector for July is 30,000 for the month of July. The total jobs added by the health care sector over the year is about 405,000, which accounts for nearly two-thirds of all jobs created.

The jobs added by social assistance and financial activities sectors are 20,000 and 18,000 respectively in the month of July.

The average workweek for all workers has come down by 0.1 hours, standing at 34.3 hours in July. This decline has been steeper in the manufacturing sector, which registered a decline of 0.3 hours, standing at 40.4 hours.

The wage rate has seen a rise in July, keeping up with the rate that was recorded in the previous month. The average hourly earnings have increased by 8 cents, standing at $27.98. The rise in the previous month too was 8 cents, thus indicating that the rate of wage growth has not seen much difference in July.

Household Survey Data

The ‘major worker groups’ have not seen big changes in the rate of unemployment as compared to the previous month. The unemployment rate of the major workers’ groups for the month of June are:

Workers Groups Unemployment Rates
Adult Men 3.4 percent
Adult Women 3.4 percent
Teenagers 12.8 percent
White population 3.3 percent
Black population 6.0 percent
Hispanic population 4.5 percent
Asian population 2.8 percent

As per the data presented in July, there has been a marginal increase in the unemployment rate of adult men, women and teenagers. In the case of racial groups, there has been a marginal increase in the rate of unemployment for the Hispanic population. The only considerable difference appears in the rate of unemployment of the Asian population, which has come down to 2.8 percent from 2.1 percent in the previous month.

Final Analysis

Although the number of jobs created in July is lesser than the rate of growth in June and May, the overall growth rate seems stable. There has also been an increase in wages, which although is marginal, is a positive sign.

The employment situation in June has shown promise in creating opportunities and increasing wage growth. The performance by the US economy has exceeded the expectations as it added nearly 224,000 jobs, thus providing more opportunities against the market expectations of 162,000 jobs. The employment situation in June, therefore, has created more optimism among the policy-makers and job seekers after a brief period of slow growth.

The rate of unemployment has seen a slight change as it has gone up to 3.7 percent from 3.6 percent in May. Despite this marginal increase in the unemployment rate, the increased job creation is said to have given the momentum to the US economy. 

The US economy added about 172,000 jobs a month on average in the last three months, which was down from 223,000 in the previous year. The addition of 224,000 jobs in June, however, has helped cool off the pressure on the economy.

Establishment Survey Data

Notable job gains were made in professional and business services, health care, and transportation and warehousing. The professional and business services added over 51,000 jobs for the month of June, which is one of the top performers of the month. 

The average employment growth in professional and business services is 35,000 a week in 2018 and the month of May saw a meager increase of 24,000. However, the increase in June has been remarkable as it also went above the employment growth of 2018, which was 47,000.

The health care sector added 35,000 jobs in June, in which ambulatory health care services and hospitals added the most number of jobs – 19,000 and 11,000 jobs respectively. The construction sector (+21,000), manufacturing (+17,000), transportation and warehousing (24,000) have also added a significant number of jobs in June.

The average hourly wage earnings for all employees increased by 6 cents, following the 9-cent increase in May. Over the last 12 months, hourly earnings of employees have increased by 3.1 percent.

Household Survey Data

The employment status of the major workers’ groups has seen little changes from the month of May. The unemployment rate of the major workers’ groups for the month of June is as follows:

Workers Groups Unemployment Rates
Adult Men 3.3 percent
Adult Women 3.3 percent
Teenagers 12.7 percent
White population 3.3 percent
Black population 6.0 percent
Hispanic population 4.3 percent
Asian population 2.1 percent

The labor force participation rate was at 62.9 percent, which witnessed little change from the month of May. The employment-population ratio remained unchanged at 60.6 percent for the fourth month in a row.

Final Analysis

The increase in the number of jobs for the month of June has alleviated eased the pressure on the United States’ economy. The slow growth of the job market in May had raised questions on the health of the economy, and on the future course to be taken to stabilize the economy.

The positive figures presented in June has given a breathing space for the policymakers and has also given an impetus to workers and job-seekers as the rate job-creation and the average weekly wages have increased.  

  

The employment situation for the month of May has steadfastly maintained the growth achieved in the month of April. The unemployment rate has remained at 3.6 percent, which still remains to be the lowest rate in the last 50 years. The month of May will be the record 15th month to witness the rate of unemployment grow under 4 percent.

Establishment Survey Data

The professional and business services and healthcare companies have added more jobs than other sectors in May. The two sectors have added 33,000 jobs and 16,000 jobs respectively. However, there has been a substantial fall in job growth in these sectors when compared to the previous month. The professional and business services added 76,000 jobs and the healthcare sector added 27,000 in the month of April.

The reduction in job growth is not newly encountered in the month of May as this phenomenon has been observed since the month of March. The US just added an overall of 75,000 jobs in the month of May, which is significantly lesser than 224,000 jobs added in April. The average job growth has come down to 151,000 in the last three months (March, April, and May) against the average of 196,000 in the last 12 months.

This trend of reducing job growth, in spite of the unchanged unemployment rate, is worrisome due to the ongoing global trade disputes, particularly between the US and China. The heat is particularly felt by the construction and manufacturing companies. Employment in construction companies saw a small improvement of 4000, whereas the industry added over 30,000 new workers in April.

Manufacturing companies, along with mining, retail trade, retail trade, transportation, and warehousing companies witnessed a very small change in job growth in May. Along with the reducing job growth rates, another important indicator that is pointing towards the sensitivity of nature of the economy was the ISM Manufacturing Index.

The ISM Manufacturing Index is considered as one of the most important indicators of recent US economic activities. The Index showed that the economic activity in the month of May was at the lowest level in the last three years. This indicates another warning to the strength of the factory sector.

Household Survey Data

The status of the labor force has seen little to no change in the month of May, as compared to the month of April. The status of the major worker’s groups for May are as follows:

Workers Groups Unemployment Rates
Adult Men 3.3 percent
Adult Women 3.2 percent
Teenagers 12.7 percent
White population 3.3 percent
Black Population 6.2 percent
Hispanic population 4.2 percent
Asian population 2.5 percent

The month of May witnessed a marginal increase in the rate of persons unemployed less than 5 weeks and persons who are long-term unemployed. Persons unemployed less than 5 weeks increased by 243,000 to 2.1 million, whereas the long-term unemployed stood at 1.3 million.

The labor force participation rate and employment-population ratio both remained unchanged from the month of April, as both stood at 62.8 percent and 60.6 percent respectively.

Final Analysis

The trends displayed in the month of May may ring a bell of caution to the policy-making fraternity of the United States. The reducing job growth rate and the not-so-promising ISM Manufacturing Index results for this month indicates that there might be some challenges up ahead to contain the reduction of job growth rate.

Although the overall rate of unemployment stands at a record low as of May, there is a need to take steps to increase the rate of job growth to achieve sustainable growth.

The rate of unemployment in the United States reached a record low by the end of April, which is said to have the lowest rate of unemployment in the last 50 years. The unemployment rate dropped to 3.6%, and the month of April will be the 14th consecutive month to record an unemployment rate below 4 percent. While the drop in the rate of unemployment appears to be a good sign for the economy on the outset, this statistic alone does not show the entire picture.

The Employment Situation Report for the month of April suggested that the US economy added no less than 263,000 jobs in the month of April. Along with the decline in the rate of unemployment, the United States economy has also witnessed another highly encouraging development.

The wage growth in the last nine continuous months has been over 3%, with the month of April recording a rise in the wage rate by 3.2%. The United States economy has witnessed the wage rate growth in such continuity for the first time since the great recession of 2008-09.

As the United States enter into a positive time-period with respect to the growth of employment rate, the government still have a major concern to address. The concern being, the 3.6% unemployment rate does not completely encapsulate the actual state of the matters on the grassroots level.

The official unemployment rate only includes those in the ‘labor force’. To remain in the labor force, the requirement is that one must have looked for an employment opportunity in the last four weeks.

The real unemployment rate, as opposed to the official unemployment rate, also includes the underemployed, the marginally attached, and discouraged workers. As a result, the real employment rate is considered to be more comprehensive as it represents a larger set of people who are at the bottom of the labor market.

The rate of real unemployment in the US is 7.3% for the month of April. Also, the reduction in the main unemployment rate is coincided with a decline in the labor force participation by 0.2 percentage point, which currently stands at 62.8%.

The records show that the share of people working or actively looking for work has seen a bare minimum change in the last seven years. This shows that aspects such as job mobility, combined with mediocre wage rate growth is not helping the employees grow in reality.

To counter this and provide a more organic environment for the employees and the employers, the government must come up with a comprehensive job creation strategy. The government must also cater to those who are not in the ‘labor force’, along with those who are currently seeking a job to see more sustainable growth in the economy of the United States.

The United States already gives importance to the start-ups to make sure that more and more people get opportunities. Start-ups are also said to produce a large number of jobs due to the sheer number of new ventures that come out every year. The successive governments over the years have spent a lot of amount of money to provide an organic infrastructure to help start-ups to prosper.

The issue here is that, in spite of the investment and support, nearly 75% of the start-ups fail in the early years. Also, Startups that have less than 20 employees generally have a negligible effect on net job creation until they pass the 5-year period.  

The government must diversify its policy programs beyond the start-ups, which is currently given high importance with respect to job creation. Sectors such as manufacturing, construction, and health care have been steadily increasing the intake of people. Governments providing incentives to these industries to create more jobs will help in creating more stable jobs. This may help in bringing down the number of underemployed and marginally attached workers.

There is a need for the government of the US to diversify its purview beyond the start-ups and look to provide incentives for high-impact companies that are locally based to accelerate the next level of growth.

As per the April employment situation report, the unemployment rate is the lowest in 50 years at 3.6 percent while nonfarm payroll employment increased by 263,000. The April employment situation report further stated that major job gains were in professional and business services, construction, health care, and social assistance.

Household Survey Data

This is the lowest unemployment rate since 1969. The rate declined by 0.2 percentage point to 3.6 percent in April. Also, there was a decrease of 387,000 unemployed persons and this reduced to 5.8 million overall.

In the major worker groups, the unemployment rates declined:

  • Adult Men – 3.4 percent
  • Adult Women – 3.1 percent
  • Whites – 3.1 percent
  • Asians – 2.2 percent
  • Hispanics – 4.2 percent
  • Teenagers – 13 percent
  • Blacks – 6.7 percent

The number of job losers and people that completed temporary jobs declined by 186,000 over the month to 2.7 million. While at the same time, the number of people unemployed for less than 5 weeks declined by 222,000 to 1.9 million. Similarly, the long-term unemployed was little changed at 1.2 million in April and accounted for 21.1 percent of the unemployed.

The labor force participation rate was unchanged from a year earlier. It declined by 0.2 percentage point to 62.8 percent in the month of April. Also, the employment-population ratio has remained unchanged at 60.6 percent in April and this has been either 60.6 percent to 60.7 since October 2018.

For economic reasons, there were some people that worked part-time and this changed a little at 4.7 million in April. These were mostly individuals that preferred full-time employment and were working part-time because their hours had been reduced or unable to find full-time work.

With regard to the unemployment situation in April, 1.4 million people were marginally attached to the labor force in April. These individuals were not in the labor force and were looking for work for 12 months. There were 454,000 discouraged workers in April which was about the same as last year. Discouraged workers are people that are not currently looking for work because they feel that there are no jobs available for them. The remaining 963,000 attached to the labor force had not searched for work as they had school attendance and family responsibilities to tend to.

Establishment Survey Data

Employment Based on Sectors

In the employment situation, the nonfarm payroll employment had increased by 263,000 in April as compared to the monthly gain of 213,000 over the last 12 months. The major job gainers were in professional and business services, construction, health care, and social assistance.

There were 76,000 jobs in the professional and business services category. Administrative and support services increased by 53,000 and 14,000 in computer systems design and related services. In the last 12 months, professional and business services added 535,000 jobs.

Construction employment grew by 33,000 and this saw gains in the nonresidential specialty trade contractors by 22,000 and heavy and civil engineering construction by 10,000. The construction added 256,000 jobs over the past 12 months.

In health care, employment grew by 27,000 and 404,000 over the past 12 months. The ambulatory health care services increased by 17,000, hospitals by 8,000 and community care facilities for the elderly at 7,000. Also, social assistance added 26,000 jobs over the month.

Employment for financial activities continued to trend up by 12,000. The industry has added 110,000 jobs over the last 12 months with almost three-fourths of the growth seen in rental, leasing and real estate.

There was little change in manufacturing for a third month in succession and it increased by 4000 in April. 12 months prior to February, this industry had added 22,000 jobs per month.

Retail employment was down by 12,000 and 9,000 job losses were in merchandise stores. But at this time motor vehicle and parts dealers added 8,000 jobs.

Other major industries that showed little change in April were mining, wholesale trade, transportation and warehousing, information, leisure and hospitality, and government.

Revisions

The total nonfarm payroll employment was changed from 33,000 to 56,000 for February while March was changed from 196,000 to 189,000. Based on these revisions, employment increased by 16,000 more than what was previously reported.

 

In March, the total non-farm payroll increased by 196,000 while the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 3.8 percent. The major gainers were in the field of health care and people employed in technical and professional services.

Household Survey Data

While the unemployment rate remains unchanged at 3.8 percent, the number of people unemployed was 6.2 million.

The major work groups include:

  • Adult Men – 3.6 percent
  • Adult Women – 3.3 percent
  • Teenagers – 12.8 percent
  • Whites – 3.4 percent
  • Blacks – 6.7 percent
  • Asians – 3.1 percent
  • Hispanics – 4.7 percent

1.3 million of the population are jobless for 27 weeks or more and this accounts for 21.1 percent of the unemployed. At 63 percent, the labor force participation rate was little changed over the past 12 months. The employment-population ratio was 60.6 percent in March and has been either 60.6 percent or 60.7 percent since October 2018.

Part time employed people was little changed at 4.5 million in March. These individuals would have preferred full-time employment were working part time because their hours were reduced or there were no more full-time jobs.

1.4 million people were attached to the labor force which is slightly different from a year earlier. These individuals were not part of the labor force, were ready to work and have looked for jobs for the last 12 months.

In March, there were 412,000 discouraged workers in March which remained unchanged from a year earlier. Discouraged workers are people that are not looking for work as they believe that there are no jobs in the market for them. While the remaining 944,000 people marginally attached to the labor force had not searched for work for reasons like family responsibilities and school attendance.

Establishment Survey Data

Employment based on sectors

As discussed earlier, the total non-farm payroll employment increased by 196,000 in March. It saw notable gains in health care and in technical and professional services. The employment growth averaged 180,000 per month during the first quarter of 2019 as compared to 223,000 per month in 2018.

The Health Care industry added 49,000 jobs in March and 398,000 over the last 12 months. In March, the employment in ambulatory health care services increased by 27,000, hospitals by 14,000 and nursing and residential care facilities by 9,000.

Technical and professional employment grew by 34,000 in the month of March and 311,000 over the past 12 months. At the same time, computer systems design and related services added 12,000 jobs. While architectural and engineering jobs increased by 6,000 and technical and management jobs increased by 6,000.

The employment in drinking places and food services had an upward trend of 27,000 with an average monthly again over 12 months. Construction employment showed little change in March to 16,000 but increased by 246,000 over the past 12 months.

Manufacturing employment decreased by 6,000 in March following an increase of 1,000 in February. In the 12 months prior to February, manufacturing had added an average of 22,000 jobs every month. But in the motor vehicle and parts industry, it declined by 6,000 in March.

There are major industries which include mining, retail and wholesale trade, warehousing, transportation, financial activities, government and information sectors which showed a small change over the month.

The average workweek for employees on private non-farm payrolls increased by 0.1 hour to 34.5 hours in March. The manufacturing workweek remained unchanged at 40.7 hours and the production and non supervisory employees increased by 0.1 hour to 33.7 hours.

In the month of March, the average hourly earnings on private non-farm payrolls rose by 4 cents to $27.7 and increased 3.2 percent in the last 12 months. Similarly, the average hourly earnings increased by 3.2 percent and the average earnings of the private sector production and non supervisory employees increased by 6 cents to $23.24 in March.

Revised Data

The total change in non-farm payroll employment from January was revised up from 311,000 to 312,000 and the change in February was revised from 20,000 to 33,000. Based on these revisions, employment gains in January and February were 14,000 more. After revisions, job gains average 180,000 per month over the last 3 months.

The total nonfarm payroll employment in February changed a little by 20,000 as compared to January. The unemployment rate has decreased to 3.8 percent. The main reason for improvement in unemployment rate is based on professional and business services, wholesale trade, health care that saw a trend up while construction employment decreased.

Household Survey Data

The overall unemployment rate declined by 0.2 percentage point to 3.8 percent in February while number of unemployed people decreased by 300,000 to 6.2 million. Those that lost their jobs and completed temporary jobs declined by 225,000. The decline could be based on the return of federal workers to work that were furloughed in January due to the partial government shutdown.

Looking at the unemployment of various groups, you can get an understanding of unemployment situation based on how it has fared in the same month in the previous year.

 

Group Unemployment Rate (February 2019) Unemployment Rate (February 2018)
Men 3.5 3.7
Women 3.4 3.8
Whites 3.3 3.7
Blacks 7.0 6.9
Asians 3.1 2.9
Hispanics 4.3 4.9

People that were long-term unemployed remained unchanged at 1.3 million and accounted for 20.4 percent of the total unemployed. The labor force participation has changed a little over a year with a rate at 63.2 percent. Similarly, the employment-population ratio was at 60.7 percent. This remained unchanged over the month as it was up by 0.3 percentage points over last year.

unemployment rate among various groups

Based on economic reasons, the number of people employed part time decreased by 837,000 to 4.3 million in February. This decline follows a sharp increase in January which was a result of the federal government shutdown.

Also in February, 1.4 million people were marginally attached to the labor force and this decreased by 178,000 since the previous year. These individuals were not part of the labor force, were available to work and were actively looking for a job in the past 12 months. Another group were the 428,000 discouraged workers in February which changed very slightly from the previous year. While the remaining 1 million people marginally attached to the labor force had not searched for work due to reasons like family responsibilities and school attendance.

Establishment Survey Data

While the total nonfarm payroll employment remained little changed of 20,000 after increasing by 311,000 in January. Similarly, in 2018 it average at 223,000 per month. But in February the main sources of employment were in professional and business services, wholesale trade and health care. But at the same time employment of construction declined.

The professional and business services continued to edge up at 42,000 with its average monthly gain of 12 months. Health care added 21,000 jobs with over 361,000 jobs added over the year. Even employment in the ambulatory health care services increased by 16,000.

The wholesale trade employment has an upward trend of 11,000. The industry added 95,000 jobs over the year which is largely among the durable goods wholesalers.

But in February, construction employment declined by 31,000 which was due to a partial offset of an increase of 53,000 jobs in January. The main employment in construction declined in heavy and civil engineering construction was 13,000. But over the year, construction added 223,000 jobs. Similarly, manufacturing employment changed little in February to 4,000 after an increase of 22,000 per month.

The month of February saw that the employment in the leisure and hospitality industry remained unchanged after it posted job gains of 89,000 and 65,000 in January and December. Over the year, it has added 410,000 jobs. There was little or no change in major industries like retail trade, mining, transportation, warehousing, financial activities and government.

Revised Data

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment was revised from 222,000 to 227,000 and saw a change in January from 304,000 to 311,000. Based on these revisions, employment gains in both December and January were 12,000 more than it was reported earlier. After the revisions, the job gains now average at 186,000 per month in the last 3 months

In January, the total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 304,000 as compared to December which had an increase of 312,000 jobs. The unemployment rate has increased from 3.7 percent to 4 percent and this could be attributed to the Shutdown which lasted for 35 days from December 22, 2018, until January 25, 2019.

Household Survey Data

There has been a 0.3 percent increase in the unemployment rate and the number of people unemployed now stands at 6.5 million. Those that were impacted due to the partial federal government shutdown were reported as being on temporary layoff which has increased by 175,000. This figure includes those that were furloughed federal employees that were classified as unemployed during the temporary layoff.

Group Unemployment Rate

(January 2018)

Unemployment Rate

(January 2017)

Men 3.7 3.9
Women 3.6 3.6
Whites 3.5 3.5
Blacks 6.8 7.7
Asians 3.1 3.0
Hispanics 4.9 5.0

When it comes to determining the unemployment of various groups, you can get a fair understanding of how the country has fared during the same period, in the previous year.

Unemployment Rate Among Various Groups

There was a little change in the number of long-term unemployed at 1.3 million and this accounted for 19.3 percent of unemployed individuals. The labor force participation rate was at 63.2 percent and the employment to population ratio is at 60.7 percent. These measures are up 0.5 percent over the year. Another important mention is that the number of people employed part-time has increased by one-half million to 5.1 million in January. Also, in January, 1.6 million people were marginally attached to the labor force which was unchanged from a year earlier. There were 426,000 discouraged workers in January and the remaining 1.2 million people were marginally attached to the labor force had not searched for work because of school attendance and family responsibilities.

Establishment Survey Data Total

The nonfarm payroll employment increased by 304,000 in January as compared to the average monthly gain of 223,000 in 2018. While in January, the employment grew in several industries like warehousing, transportation, construction, health care, and hospitality. There are no discernible impacts of the partial federal government shutdown for estimates based on earnings, hours or employment.

The employment rose in the hospitality and leisure by 74,000 while the job gains were mostly from food services and drinking places (37,000) and amusements, recreation and gambling which increased by 32000. Over the past year, leisure and hospitality alone added 410,000 jobs.

Another major contributor to job gains is through the special trade contractors which increased in both nonresidential (19,000) and residential components (15,000). Employment rose in the heavy and civil engineering construction by 10,000 and residential building by 9,000. In the past 12 months, 338,000 jobs were added in the construction sector.

In the health care industry, employment increased by 42,000 while the largest contributors were ambulatory health care services (22,000) and hospitals (19,000). Health care added 368,000 jobs over the past year and over the month, employment in transportation and warehousing rose by 27,000. Retail trade employment edged up by 21,000 while general merchandise stores lost 12,000 jobs.

The mining industry has added 64,000 jobs over the year as the employment increased by 7,000 in January. Professional and business services continue to trend up over the month and it has increased by 546,000 in the last 12 months. Manufacturing has seen an uptrend with 261,000 jobs being added over the year. There has been an increase of 20,000 jobs in durable goods while there is a decline of 7,000 in non-durable goods.

When it comes to employment in the Federal government, it has remained unchanged in January with an increase in 1,000 jobs. Federal employees on furlough during the partial government shutdown were counted as employed because they worked or received pay for the period that included 12th of the month.

Revised Data

The total nonfarm payroll employment for November was revised from 176,000 to 196,000 and the change for December was revised from 312,000 to 222,000. Based on these revisions, the employment gains in November and December combined were 70,000 more. This makes the job gains an average of 241,000 per month over the past three months.

This suggests that though there has been an increase in the number of jobs in several industries, the main job gainers in the industry were leisure and hospitality, construction, health care, and transportation and warehousing.

Total employment in the nonfarming sector has seen a considerable rise in the month of December. The nonfarm sector witnessed an addition of 312,000 jobs, which in comparison to November (added 155,000 jobs), is substantial growth. The rate of unemployment, however, increased in December from 3.7% in November to 3.9%, in spite of the job additions. The employment situation in December has also influenced by major government decisions such as the partial Federal Government Shutdown.

Household Survey Data

The month of December saw an increase of 0.2 percentage points in the unemployment rate. By the end of the month, the number of unemployed people was increased by 276,000, taking the overall unemployment figure to 6.3 million. This indicates a marginal increase in the number of unemployed persons from the previous month, which stood at 6 million. The situation during December 2018, however, still appears to be an improvement from the situation prevalent in December 2017, when the United States had 6.6 million unemployed persons at this time.

The unemployment rate of various groups gives a broader picture of how the country has fared when compared during the same time, last year.

Group
Unemployment Rate (December 2018)
Unemployment Rate (December 2017)
Men 3.6% 3.8%
Women 3.5% 3.7%
Whites 3.4% 3.7%
Blacks 6.6% 6.8%
Asians 3.3% 2.5%
Hispanics 4.4% 4.9%

This is further elucidated in the chart below:

Comparision of December 2017 and December 2018

The above representation shows that the rate of unemployment has decreased in 2018 when compared to 2017. However, the numbers in December have marginally increased compared with the previous month.

The month of December witnessed a minor change in the data of job-leavers and those who are long-term unemployed. Job-leavers are those who have quit their jobs and have immediately started looking for a new job, and long-term unemployed persons are those who have not been employed for at least 27 weeks or more. The number of job-leavers has increased by 142,000 in the month of December, which takes the overall tally for the year to 839,000. On the other hand, the number of long-term unemployed has seen a marginal decrease, coming down from 20.8% of overall unemployed to 20.5%.

Coming to the situation of labor force participation rate and employment participation ratio, there have been some minuscule changes. The data for December shows that the former has seen a marginal increase from 62.9% in November to 63.1%, whereas the latter remained unchanged for the third consecutive month, standing at 60.06%.  

The number of persons who are marginally attached to the workforce and the number of persons employed part time for economic reasons too have come down in December. The number of persons who are marginally attached to the workforce reduced from 1.7 million in November to 1.6 million in December, and the persons employed part time for economic reasons came down from 4.8 million in November to 4.7 million. Also, it is worthwhile to note that the number of discouraged workers, those who believe that there are no jobs for them at present, has come down by 99,000 from 2017.

Establishment Survey Data

The total increase in the non-farm payroll employment for the month of December has doubled from November. The total increase in the month of November was 155,000, whereas a total increase in December is noted to be 312,000. Much of the job-gain has occurred in healthcare, manufacturing, food services, construction, and retail.

Continuing the growth from November, the healthcare sector has been a leading employer in the month of December as well. The sector has added nearly 50,000 jobs in the month of December. Within the healthcare sector, major recruiters have been ambulatory services (adding nearly 38,000 jobs) and hospitals (adding 7000 jobs). The total number of people recruited by the healthcare industry in 2018 is 346,000.

Construction and manufacturing have contributed 38,000 and 32,000 jobs respectively in December. Within the construction industry, job gains were made by nonresidential trade construction and civil engineering (both adding 16,000 jobs respectively). Within the manufacturing industry, a large number of jobs were added by manufacturing durable goods component (added 19,000 jobs) and manufacturing fabricated metal products (added 7000 jobs). The construction industry added a total of 280,000 jobs in 2018, and the contribution from the manufacturing sector stands at 207,000 jobs for the year.

Due to the increase in recruitment by the general merchandising stores (adding 15,000 jobs) and automobile dealers (adding 6000 jobs), the overall retail sector has added a total of 24,000 jobs to the American economy in the month of December. However, the employment rate in sectors such as mining, wholesale trade, transportation and warehousing, information, financial activities, and government remains unchanged in December.

This suggests that those who are on the lookout for a new employment opportunity, healthcare, manufacturing, constructing and retail are recruiting in large numbers, as opposed to other industries in the country.

The US government has been in partial shutdown since December 22, 2018, as President Trump continues to demand more than $5 billion for the border wall between US and Mexico. At this time, since the Democrats control the House, they continue to suggest that they won’t agree to any new money for the wall. Though Trump would not declare a state of national emergency, the White House has already started the groundwork in the event that a major problem arises. Till date, this is the longest shutdown in the history of America.

What Does This Shutdown Mean?

This partial government shutdown would lead to a serious impact on the 800,000 federal employees including the essential jobs that are required to work without pay. This would suggest that most government offices and national monuments would not be functional. As of now, it is difficult to predict layoffs or companies closing down or seeing companies slash up to one-third of its staff due to mergers and acquisitions.

Why the Shutdown?

President Trump stated that he would not relent till the Democrats come to an understand and would go to the extent of using even Disaster Relief Funds to ensure that he has enough financial backing to complete the Wall. Owing to this, President Trump suggested that he would even militarize the border and improve the border security to safeguard the American people.

What to Expect With the Government Shutdown?

Currently, the Federal Government gets its funding from the annual budget appropriations that is governed by the Congress. While the majority of the government has funding in place since the budget was initiated on October 1, 2018, there are still agencies that are operating on temporary extensions which expired at midnight on December 21, 2018.

Workers are in a fix as funding was not enacted for those agencies during the shutdown. This leaves several employees working for those agencies that have stayed on the job even with furloughs.

In both cases, these employees will remain unpaid until the spending authority is restored. Those that remain at work are called Excepted while those that are furloughed are called Non-excepted. In this period individual agencies would help make decisions in what the government calls Contingency Plans.

How to Survive a Government Shutdown?

The best way to prepare for this kind of crisis is to have a Financial Fire Drill (FFD) in place. This FFD is a focused look at essential expenses and how you would be able to cover them during a no-work period. This includes a list of resources and the answer to all the what-ifs. This is where you should prepare yourself on how to answer an interview.

How Much Should You Save to Be in the Clear?

When you come to think about it, you should try to be financially secure to ensure that when push comes to shove, you have enough resources for you and your family. This actually is quite liberating as you can learn to get by on $1,000 a month till things get better.

You should try to develop a habit of saving and if you have, then your healthy emergency fund can be used for an occasion like this one. While it is suggested that you save for three to six months’ worth of expenses, it would be advisable to save for a year’s worth. Though in theory, it could be difficult, it can be made possible.

Though the main point would be to save on the emergency fund and spend it. There are cases of emergencies where you cannot be fully covered. Also, if it takes more than three months to find a new job or recover from a health issue then you still have to pay the bills and this emergency fund would come in handy.

Similarly, you should learn to perform better at work and learn new skills while on the job to ensure that you are up to date with the current state of affairs.

Claim Your Unemployment Benefits

If you are among the 800,000 federal employees or among the many that have lost their job or have furloughed your work then you can apply for unemployment benefits.

How do you apply for benefits, you ask?

Firstly, you will have to apply online to WorkForce West Virginia website or visit the nearest WorkForce office for help.

Secondly, submit the Notification of Personnel Action (SFSO) or a Notice to Federal Employee About Unemployment Insurance (SF8).

Thirdly, as furloughed federal employees, you should upload past check stubs to the application to expedite the process. Though furloughed federal employees are not required to seek employment to receive benefits, they would be expected to reach an agreement with Congress to back pay once the shutdown has ended.

Use our Resources and Tools to Your Benefit

If you are in a tight spot and need help to find employment then you should take a look at some of our resources in order to ensure that you are well on your way. You also need to figure out how you can get hired after a career break, we have the right resources to help you on your way.

Don’t forget to use our host of tools like the Base Period Calculator, Benefits Calculator, and the Eligibility Calculator to help determine your benefits amount that you should receive. This way you can figure out what your base period is, determine the benefits that you are due and whether you are officially eligible to claim your benefits.

With the Base Period Calculator, you can determine what your base period which is the months prior to losing your job. These are the usually the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters prior to the effective date of the claim/unemployment.

Similarly, you can use the Benefits Calculator to determine what is the amount of benefits that you are due based on your base period.

But before you determine your benefits, you should check out the Eligibility Calculator to know whether you are eligible for benefits and if you are actively searching for a job.

If you have any questions about how to use these tools or need any information about how to get your benefits then you can reach out to us in the comments section below. Don’t feel shy, we’re all ears!

https://fileunemployment.org