Real Unemployment Numbers – January 2013

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) announced earlier this morning that based on its monthly survey of households, in January 2013:

U.S. employers added 157,000 non-farm jobs versus the 166,000 that were expected per the monthly Wall Street Journal survey of economists.

The BLS Unemployment Rate at 7.9% was essentially unchanged from December’s adjusted rate of 7.8%.

There are now 12.3 million Unemployed Workers, based on BLS’s separate monthly survey of businesses.

However, each month BLS’s figures do not reflect Real Unemployment, since BLS: counts only those workers who are actively looking for employment, which can vary fairly widely month-to-month due to workers voluntarily removing themselves from the labor force; does not include “discourage workers;” and does not include the 10.4 million workers who are “part-time-of-necessity” (the “underemployed”).

In contrast, our Summary of U.S. Real Unemployment makes these changes to the Adjusted Civilian Labor Force and in the number of Real Unemployed Workers.  In January 2013:

The number of Real Unemployed Workers decreased by 10,000 to 22.7 million (i.e., the BLS Unemployed Workers figure (12.3 mm) plus the 10.4 mm workers who are part-time-of-necessity, discouraged or other marginally attached).  December’s increase in Real Unemployed Workers was an insignificant 53,000.

Since February 2010, when the number of Real Unemployed Workers was at its highest at 26.5 million, and despite the Civilian Labor Force now being 2.0 million workers larger, the number of Real Unemployed Workers in the country has declined by 3.8 million workers

The Real Unemployment Rate declined by 0.1% to 14.4%, compared to the BLS Unemployment Rate of 7.9%.

Note: In addition to the current 22.7 million Real Unemployed Workers, there are 4.3 million workers who, while also saying they want jobs, have not looked for one over the past 12 months.  Prior to December 2012, we included these workers among the Real Unemployed because they say they want jobs and because the number is so large; however, after discussion with BLS and considering that these workers have not looked for employment in over a year, we now exclude them from attachment 2 and our calculation of the Real Unemployment Rate.  If they are included, though, January’s Real Unemployment Rate of 14.4% becomes 16.7%




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