Politics Magazine

Unemployment Rate Rises By 0.1% In January

Posted on the 07 February 2015 by Jobsanger
Unemployment Rate Rises By 0.1% In January
On Friday, the Labor Department released it statistics on unemployment for January. It showed a respectable number of jobs was created last month -- about 257,000. But that was not enough to keep the official unemployment rate from rising. It went from 5.6% in December to 5.7% in January.
Part of the reason is probably people being laid off from holiday jobs (since the number of officially unemployed worker rose from 8,688,000 in December to 8,979,000 in January). But the biggest reason is because the size of the civilian work force rose significantly (from 156,129,000 in December to 157,180,000 in January). That's about four times the number of new workers than jobs created. In other words, the number of jobs being created is not keeping up with the number of new workers entering the work force.
This shouldn't surprise us. As the population grows, job creation must also grow to keep up with it. But new job creation requires more demand for the goods/services of businesses, and that demand is not growing. It is not growing because wages are stagnant (and losing buying power because of inflation) and because the Republicans are shrinking the economy with their "austerity" policy of cutting government. Budget cuts can only be effective in a healthy economy (where consumer buying power can offset the cuts) -- but we don't have a healthy economy, which means those cuts only shrink demand (which costs jobs).
President Obama is trying to fight this shrinking economy by introducing a budget proposal that increases spending (offset by more taxes on the rich). But that is unlikely to happen, since Republicans control both houses of Congress -- and they want to cut government so they can give more tax breaks to the rich and the corporations (which will only shrink the economy further).
Here are the relevant statistics for January:
DEMOGRAPHIC BREAKDOWN OF OFFICIAL UNEMPLOYMENT RATE:
Adult men...............5.3%
Adult women...............5.1%
Teenagers (16-19)...............18.8%
Whites...............4.9%
Blacks...............10.3%
Hispanics...............6.7%
Asians...............4.0%
Less than HS diploma...............8.5%
HS graduate...............5.4%
Some college / Assoc. degree...............5.2%
Bachelor's degree or higher...............2.8%
SIZE OF THE CIVILIAN WORK FORCE:
157,180,000
NUMBER OF OFFICIALLY UNEMPLOYED WORKERS:
8,979,000
OFFICIAL UNEMPLOYMENT RATE:
5.7%
NUMBER OF UNEMPLOYED "MARGINALLY-ATTACHED" TO LABOR FORCE (and not counted because they didn't look for work in the last four weeks):
2,234,000
MORE REALISTIC NUMBER OF UNEMPLOYED WORKERS:
11,213,000
MORE REALISTIC UNEMPLOYMENT RATE:
7.13%
NUMBER OF UNDEREMPLOYED WORKERS (working part-time because they can't find full-time work):
6,810,000
NUMBER OF UNEMPLOYED/UNDEREMPLOYED WORKERS:
18,023,000
UNEMPLOYMENT/UNDEREMPLOYMENT RATE:
11.47%

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