Initial claims data misleading, August 15, 2013, US Labor Dept, Lowest since 2007?, Increased part time workers lowers layoffs, Total claiming benefits in all programs increased
“11.4%: What the U.S. unemployment rate would be if labor force participation were back to January 2008 levels.” …James Pethokoukis, American Enterprise Institute, June 2013
“Over the last six months, of the net job creation, 97 percent of that is part-time work,”…Keith Hall, former BLS chief
“Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.”…George Orwell, “1984″
Once again the US Labor Department reported fewer initial claims.
One report I heard on the radio stated that the number of initial claims was the lowest since October 2007.
Is this comparing apples and oranges?
From the US Labor Dept. August 15, 2013.
“UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE WEEKLY CLAIMS REPORT
SEASONALLY ADJUSTED DATA
In the week ending August 10, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 320,000, a decrease of 15,000 from the previous week’s revised figure of 335,000. The 4-week moving average was 332,000, a decrease of 4,000 from the previous week’s revised average of 336,000.”
“The total number of people claiming benefits in all programs for the week ending July 27 was 4,586,860, an increase of 65,906 from the previous week. ”
Reporters are comparing the latest initial claims with those from 2007.
Consider the following comparisons between October 2007 and the latest 2013 numbers.
Part-Time for Economic Reasons, All Industries
Oct 2007 4,325,000
July 2013 8,245,000
Total unemployed, plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force, plus total employed part time for economic reasons, as a percent of the civilian labor force plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force
Oct 2007 8.4 %
July 2013 14.0 %
Not in Labor Force, Want a Job Now
Oct 2007 4,131,000
July 2013 6,862,000
An increase in part time workers is bound to affect the initial claims report.
Think about it.
With part time workers you can easily cut back hours without laying them off. And Obamacare is creating more part time workers.
From NBC News August 13, 2013.
“Businesses claim Obamacare has forced them to cut employee hours”
But the president of an influential union that supports Obamacare said the White House is wrong.
“It IS happening,” insisted Joseph Hansen, president of the United Food and Commercial Workers union, which has 1.2 million members. “Wait a year. You’ll see tremendous impact as workers have their hours reduced and their incomes reduced. The facts are already starting to show up. Their statistics, I think, are a little behind the time.”
In a letter to Democratic leaders on Capitol Hill, Hansen joined other labor chieftains in warning that the ACA as presently written could “destroy the foundation of the 40-hour work week that is the backbone of the middle class.”
NBC News spoke with almost 20 small businesses and other entities from Maine to California, and almost all said that because of the new law they’d be cutting back hours for some employees – an unintended consequence of the new law.”