• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • The Latest Unemployment Report

    Unemployment line

    The February report showed that, although the labor market is still treading water, there is room for optimism. After all, almost every industry except for construction is either adding jobs or is flat. Job growth in the service sector was positive thanks to health care and temporary services. Manufacturing and retail trade were basically flat over the past month. The economy still shed jobs, but this reduction was the result of steep job cuts in the construction industry, many of which can likely be attributed to last month’s epic blizzards. Overall, the employment picture continues to improve; job creation is occurring in more and more business sectors.

    Another sign of improvement is that, in addition to the continued surge in temporary services, the household survey showed solid employment growth. In the household survey, the number of new jobs created was enough to keep the unemployment rate constant, despite an increase in the labor force. In other words, job creation was equal to the number of new workers in the labor market.

    While the official unemployment rate was flat at 9.7 percent, the unemployment rate of discouraged workers went from 10.3 percent to 10.4 percent. In the last two months, over 250,000 workers dropped out of the labor force to become “discouraged workers” — the largest two-month increase since the survey’s creation in 1994. This increase in discouraged workers is likely one of the main reasons that the number of workers unemployed by 27 weeks fell by 180,000 last month.

    This report reinforces my prediction that the labor market will turn positive in the spring. However, this coming labor market recovery is likely to be sluggish as job creation numbers remain low — the result of business’s reluctance to add to payroll in the current economic and political climate.

    Cross-posted at The Corner.

    Posted in Economics [slideshow_deploy]

    3 Responses to The Latest Unemployment Report

    1. Rick Katy, TX says:

      Mr. Hederman,

      Allegedly, the current unemployment is stagnant at 9.7%(government percentage). It is being stated that some 40 million+ are jobless with a population base of 300 million+. It sounds more like 13%. Ergo, It is assumed that you were referring to a government report. How sad. It is actually worse. Where are those listed who have run out of benefits or doing part-time work? When all aspects of the unemployment issue are considered, I will begin to believe the job market is improving. Until then, I study the drop in the housing market – resales, first time buyers, repossessions, and housing starts. Next I check new car sales. FYI, both are down and apparently will continue to decline.

    2. Pingback: Will You Remember? | RedState

    3. Marian Anthony says:

      I agree with Rick. The U.S. is pumping more money out of the country than in. I would also use the housing industry and consumer spending as a reference to economic growth and employment. In order to grow we must spend, without new employment opportunity we are at a stand still. I'm seeing less new job opportunity and more manpower replacement devices in retail locations. The middle class is getting crushed while our homes are draining in value and our retirement savings are being depleted by the same finance animals. United we stand, divided we foreclose.

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.