Thursday, July 11, 2024

What’s The National Unemployment Rate

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Not All Employed Individuals Survive Off Income From Employment

What Is the Real Unemployment Rate?

Not all workers earn enough to support themselves on income from employment alone.

Even when they earn some employment income, millions rely on financial support and housing assistance provided by parents, other relatives, spouses, charitable organizations, or government assistance programs.

These workers, who often work part time or for minimum wage, are considered underemployed.

Other full- or part-time workers, especially those in sectors like agriculture and tourism, earn significant income on a seasonal basis only and withdraw from the labor force or work sporadically during the low season.

While the BLS uses sophisticated models to smooth out seasonal labor market variations, the headline unemployment rate fails to capture seasonal employments nuance .

Collection Of Unemployment Data

Official U.S. employment statistics are produced by the BLS, an agency within the Department of Labor. Every month the Census Bureau, part of the Department of Commerce, conducts the Current Population Survey using a sample of around 60,000 households, or around 110,000 individuals.

The survey collects data on individuals in these households by race, ethnicity, age, veteran status, and gender , all of whichalong with geographyadd nuance to the employment data. The sample is rotated so that 75% of the households are constant from month to month and 50% are from year to year. Interviews are conducted in person or by phone.

The survey excludes individuals under the age of 16 and those who are in the Armed Forces . People in correctional facilities, mental healthcare facilities, and other similar institutions are also excluded. Interviewers ask a series of questions that determine employment status, but do not ask whether respondents are employed or unemployed. Nor do the interviewers themselves assign employment status they record the answers for the BLS to analyze.

Interviewers also collect information on industry, occupation, average earnings, union membership, andfor the joblesswhether they quit or were discharged .

Initial Jobless Claims By State

Most states reported declines in new claims, led by 6,946 fewer unadjusted initial claims in Missouri, 2,990 fewer in New York, 2,319 fewer in Ohio, and 2,018 fewer in Tennessee. The largest increases in unadjusted initial claims were 3,554 in Michigan, 629 in Kansas, and 454 in Utah. Note that the statistics compiled by the U.S. Department of Labor also include the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands, in addition to the 50 states. As indicated above, total unadjusted new claims fell by 24,824 during the week ending Feb. 19, 2022.

However, the U.S. Department of Labor cautions that the breakdown by state for the week ending Feb. 19, 2022, contains what are called advance claims. These advance claims are reported by the state liable for paying the unemployment compensation. However, data for previous weeks classify claimants by state of residence. Thus, the state-by-state figures for the week ending Feb. 19, 2022, and the prior week are not completely comparable.

For comparable figures, the Department of Labor instead looks at the data for a week earlier, which ended Feb. 12, 2022. The largest increases in initial claims for that week, compared to the week before that, were in Missouri , Ohio , Kentucky , Tennessee , and Illinois , while the largest decreases were in Pennsylvania , California , Wisconsin , New Jersey , and Connecticut .

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What Is The Unemployment Rate Formula

The term unemployment rate refers to the proportion of the labor force, which was actively seeking employment but has been unemployed for the last four weeks. Most of the countries published the unemployment data every month as it is a good indicator to assess the direction of an economy. The formula for the unemployment rate is very simple, and it can be derived by dividing the number of unemployed persons available for employment by the total number of employed and unemployed persons in the nation. Mathematically, it is represented as,

Unemployment Rate = No. of Unemployed Persons /

Now, as per the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a person can be defined to be employed only if he/ she:

  • Is more than 16 years of age
  • Works either for an employer or is self-employed
  • Does not work as a volunteer
  • Is not engaged in any kind of self-service

On the other hand, a person is identified to be unemployed only if he/ she:

  • Is more than 16 years of age
  • Is not engaged in any kind of employment
  • I was actively seeking a job during the last four weeks

A03 Nsa: Employment Unemployment And Economic Inactivity For Men Aged From 16 To 64 And Women Aged From 16 To 59

Unemployment Online Help Number

Employment, unemployment and economic inactivity for men aged from 16 to 64 and women aged from 16 to 59 . The employment and inactivity rates shown in this table were the headline employment and inactivity rates until August 2010, when ONS replaced these headline rates with rates for those aged from 16 to 64 for both men and women. These new headline rates for those aged from 16 to 64 are shown in Table A02 NSA. These estimates are sourced from the Labour Force Survey, a survey of households.

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Unemployment Under Full Employment

In demand-based theory, it is possible to abolish cyclical unemployment by increasing the aggregate demand for products and workers. However, the economy eventually hits an “inflation barrier” that is imposed by the four other kinds of unemployment to the extent that they exist. Historical experience suggests that low unemployment affects inflation in the short term but not the long term. In the long term, the velocity of money supply measures such as the MZM velocity is far more predictive of inflation than low unemployment.

Some demand theory economists see the inflation barrier as corresponding to the natural rate of unemployment. The “natural” rate of unemployment is defined as the rate of unemployment that exists when the labour market is in equilibrium, and there is pressure for neither rising inflation rates nor falling inflation rates. An alternative technical term for that rate is the NAIRU, the Non-Accelerating Inflation Rate of Unemployment. Whatever its name, demand theory holds that if the unemployment rate gets “too low,” inflation will accelerate in the absence of wage and price controls .

One of the major problems with the NAIRU theory is that no one knows exactly what the NAIRU is, and it clearly changes over time. The margin of error can be quite high relative to the actual unemployment rate, making it hard to use the NAIRU in policy-making.

Calculating Suta Tax Is Different In Each State

Each of the states sets its own SUTA tax rate and the taxable wage base. The taxable wage base is the maximum amount of income that is taxed. So, beyond that threshold, the employees wages wouldn’t be taxed for SUTA purposes.

To calculate the SUTA tax, multiply the states unemployment tax rate by the taxable wage base. First, you’ll need to register as an employer to find out what your rate is .

The taxable wage base can change from one year to the next, so employers should stay up-to-date on any changes to that rate and make adjustments to deductions accordingly.

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Several States Increased Their Unemployment Tax Rates For 2022

A number of states have raised their unemployment tax rates for 2022, including Illinois, Colorado, and Kentucky. Some states have kept unemployment tax rates level but raised the state taxable wage base.

States that raised unemployment tax rates for 2022 and their new ranges include:

  • Arizona: 0.0820.93 percent

  • Idaho: up by 3 percent to a range of 0.2522.352 percent

  • Illinois: 0.725 percent to 7.625 percent

  • Kentucky: 0.5 to 9.5 percent

  • Louisiana: slight increase

  • Minnesota: 2.9 percent increase

  • New Jersey: 0.5 to 5.8 percent

  • Ohio: up to 10.2 percent

  • Utah: 0.3 to 7.3 percent

  • Vermont: for fiscal year 0.8 to 6.5 percent

  • Washington: increased lowest rate to 0.33 percent

States that raised the taxable wage base, and the new levels:

  • Alaska: $45,700

Not All Workers Fall Into Neat Employment Categories

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Some people fall into more than one employment category within a relatively short time frame and even within individual monthly survey periods.

For example, while students are typically left out of the workforce, a high school student who begins looking for a job becomes part of the workforce and is subsequently classified as unemployed until finding one or ceasing their search.

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What The Unemployment Numbers Mean In Context

Another problem with the unemployment rate is that it cannot be used to accurately compare unemployment levels from different years namely because of the changes in age makeup of the population, and other factors.

For example, during the height of the coronavirus pandemic, the unemployment figures rose as employment plummeted, especially in the tourism and hospitality sectors. The sudden rise in unemployment was not reflective of society under regular conditions, as the pandemic impacted many jobs.

In addition, government methods of measuring the unemployment rate may change over time, as they did in 1994 when the BLS overhauled the CPS, changing its questionnaire and some of its labor-force concepts.

A0: Summary Of Employment Unemployment And Economic Inactivity For People Below State Pension Age

Labour market summary for people below state pension age. Estimates in this table follow the incremental increase in the female state pension age each quarter. These estimates are not the headline labour force survey estimates – they are shown at Tables A02 SA and A02 NSA. This table is updated four times a year in February, May, August and November. These estimates are sourced from the Labour Force Survey, a survey of households.

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Effects Of Healthcare Reform

CBO estimated in December 2015 that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act would reduce the labor supply by approximately 2 million full-time worker equivalents by 2025, relative to a baseline without the law. This is driven by the law’s health insurance coverage expansions plus taxes and penalties. With access to individual marketplaces, fewer persons are dependent on health insurance offered by employers.

Notable Flaws In The Unemployment Rate Calculation

Unemployment Graph Gif 2020

Despite its nominal accuracy, the unemployment rate is not a perfect measurement of the overall health of the labor market.

Its most notable flaws include the fact that it intentionally leaves millions of potential workers out of the labor force and a simplistic definition of employment that fails to account for earnings, hours worked, and other measures of living wage employment.

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Start Saving As Soon As Possible

If the bill isn’t too big, you may be able to simply save up enough money before the April 18 due date to pay the bill. The most efficient way of doing this is to set up a savings plan for yourself where you automatically put aside a small amount each week from your checking to your savings account.

Comparison Of Employment Recovery Across Recessions And Financial Crises

One method of analyzing the impact of recessions on employment is to measure the period of time it takes to return to the pre-recession employment peak. By this measure, the 20082009 recession was considerably worse than the five other U.S. recessions from 1970 to present. By May 2013, U.S. employment had reached 98% of its pre-recession peak after approximately 60 months. Employment recovery following a combined recession and financial crisis tends to be much longer than a typical recession. For example, it took Norway 8.5 years to return to its pre-recession peak employment after its 1987 financial crisis and it took Sweden 17.8 years after its 1991 financial crisis. The U.S. is recovering considerably faster than either of these countries.

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United States Bureau Of Labor Statistics

The Bureau of Labor Statistics measures employment and unemployment by using two different labor force surveys conducted by the United States Census Bureau and/or the Bureau of Labor Statistics that gather employment statistics monthly. The Current Population Survey , or “Household Survey,” conducts a survey based on a sample of 60,000 households. The survey measures the unemployment rate based on the ILO definition.

The Current Employment Statistics survey , or “Payroll Survey,” conducts a survey based on a sample of 160,000 businesses and government agencies, which represent 400,000 individual employers. Since the survey measures only civilian nonagricultural employment, it does not calculate an unemployment rate, and it differs from the ILO unemployment rate definition. Both sources have different classification criteria and usually produce differing results. Additional data are also available from the government, such as the unemployment insurance weekly claims report available from the Office of Workforce Security, within the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration. The Bureau of Labor Statistics provides up-to-date numbers via a PDF linked here. The BLS also provides a readable concise current Employment Situation Summary, updated monthly.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics also calculates six alternate measures of unemployment, U1 to U6, which measure different aspects of unemployment:

What Is The Root Cause Of Unemployment

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Unemployment is caused by various reasons that come from both the demand side, or employer, and the supply side, or the worker. Demand-side reductions may be caused by high interest rates, global recession, and financial crisis. From the supply side, frictional unemployment and structural employment play a great role.

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The True Rate May Be Even Higher Than 20 Percent:

There are other reasons why the real unemployment rate may even be higher than the adjusted figure of 20%:

  • Quickly Outdated Inputs: The BLS uses household and business surveys from the middle of the month, in this case April, to derive the unemployment rate. Given that the velocity of economic carnage has only increased since the pandemic started, figures from mid-April may already be outdated in reflecting the current situation. As Nate Silver noted, our economic data just wasnt designed for a moment where entire sectors of the economy shut down pretty much overnight, leaving millions of people without jobs.
  • BLS Revisions May Skew Higher: The 14.7 percent unemployment rate is only a preliminary estimate. BLS will revise it twice before holding it constant until its annual benchmarking process to improve its data series by incorporating additional information that was not available at the time of the initial publication of the estimates. In March, the revised figures increase job losses by close to 170,000 jobs – the initial report cited 701,000 jobs lost, whereas the adjusted figure was 870,000. All evidence points to April job losses being even deeper than in March, meaning that the revision for April could be even more drastic than 170,000 jobs.

The Household Survey Is A Snapshot In Time

The Census Bureaus household unemployment survey is a monthly snapshot in time, not a continuous reading of labor market conditions.

Because it typically occurs during the week including the 12th of the month, it may not accurately reflect conditions during the opening or closing days of the month.

That isnt a fatal flaw in normal times, but it can result in misleading data in more extraordinary periods.

For example, the official unemployment rate for March 2020 vastly underestimated the scale of job losses due to widespread closures of nonessential businesses during the second half of that month as the coronavirus pandemic set in.

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What Is The Real National Us Unemployment Rate

Between March and April 2020, amid the unrelenting COVID-19 pandemic, the United States unemployment rate shot up more than 10 percentage points to 14.7%, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics .

The unemployment rate has since fallen closer to historical averages, but the increase in unemployment levels at the start of the pandemic was the sharpest in the history of the Department of Labors unemployment data series, which dates back to 1948.

The official unemployment rate reached its highest levels since the Great Depression when roughly 1 in 4 American workers were on the dole. And the labor force participation rate, the measure of working-age civilians actively working or seeking employment, dropped to its lowest level since 1973.

Yet these sobering figures could understate the extent of the pandemic-induced downturn. For years, experts have argued convincingly that the real rate of unemployment is much higher than the Department of Labor reports each month.

average return of 618%

As is often the case with statistical measurements involving hundreds of millions of individuals operating in a dynamic environment, the reality is much more complicated than a single number can convey.

How Is The Unemployment Rate Calculated

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The federal government uses a reasonably straightforward methodology to measure the number of working-age people who qualify as unemployed each month.

While this methodology has inherent flaws and fails to capture the full extent of unemployment, it establishes an important baseline for the publics understanding of the labor market.

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Calculating The Us Unemployment Rate

The Census Bureau then uses the results of the CPS to calculate the official U.S. unemployment rate for the survey month.

In simple terms, you calculate the unemployment rate by dividing the number of individuals actively seeking employment by the number of individuals who have jobs plus the unemployed.

The sum of the employed plus unemployed is the total number of labor force participants. You dont include labor force nonparticipants in the calculation.

In mathematical terms, the formula is as follows:

Total number of unemployed / = unemployment rate

Heres an example. The BLS conducts a survey of 60,000 households that yields 110,000 respondents. In their survey, they find the following results:

  • Of those respondents, 60,000 have jobs. They either work for an employer or operate their own business.
  • Another 10,000 say theyre looking for work.
  • The remaining 40,000 are not considered part of the labor force. They may be going back to school, disabled and unable to work, or perhaps have given up looking for work because the economy is so bad. Whats most surprising is that the government completely ignores the existence of this last group when calculating the unemployment rate.

According to the gathered data, the unemployment rate in this case is 14.3%. You calculate it as follows:

10,000/ = 14.3%

To estimate the actual number of American workers who qualify as unemployed during the survey period, they scale the result up in proportion to the total U.S. population.

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