Sep 01, 2017

Putting U.S. Employment Numbers in Context – August 2017

Post by Freedom Partners

This morning, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that the unemployment rate for August 2017 was 4.4 percent and that the economy added 156,000 jobs.

Today marks the seventh full monthly report for the Trump administration, and total monthly job gains have averaged roughly 170,000 during that time.

Despite the strong job growth, nearly 14 million individuals are still trying to find work and an additional 128,000 are not in the labor force.

The good news is that robust, sustained job growth is finally within reach. This year, Washington has a once-in-a-generation opportunity to unrig the economy and enact comprehensive tax reform that encourages growth and helps improve the lives of millions of Americans, as well as institute bold, pro-growth policies that curb overspending and reduce regulatory burdens for businesses and individuals.

Below is a deeper look at the numbers from today’s report and what they say about the state of the U.S. economy and labor market.

Unemployment by the Numbers

4.4%: The unemployment rate increased to 4.4 percent during August, up from 4.3 percent in July 2017.

7,132,000: The total number of unemployed individuals increased to 7.1 million in August 2017.

156,000: The economy added 156,000 jobs during August, down from 189,000 jobs added during July. The number of jobs added during June was revised down to 210,000 from the 231,000 reported last month.

13,935,000: The total number of individuals “underemployed” was 13.9 million during August 2017. This includes those individuals who are unemployed (7.1 million), those who want a job but are no longer looking for work (1.5 million) and those individuals who are working part-time because no other work was available (5.3 million).

8.6%: The “underemployment” or “real unemployment” rate stayed the same at 8.6 percent during August 2017.

7.7%: The African American unemployment rate increased to 7.7 percent last month, up from 7.4 percent during July.

5.2%: The Hispanic unemployment rate increased to 5.2 percent during August 2017.

77,000: The civilian labor force increased 77,000 during August 2017.

62.9%: The Labor Force Participation Rate stayed the same at 62.9 percent during August 2017.

1,740,000: The number of individuals unemployed for longer than 27 weeks was 1.7 million during August. The total number of long-term unemployed individuals decreased 45,000 from July 2017.

5,255,000: The number of individuals forced to work part-time because no full-time work was available was 5.3 million during August.

1,548,000: The number of individuals who attempted to look for a job at some point in the last year but have given up their search was 1.5 million during August 2017.

656,000: There were 656,000 unemployed first-time job entrants during August 2017. These individuals entered the labor market for the first time and were unable to find work.

24 Weeks: The average number of weeks it took job seekers to find work decreased to 24.4 weeks in August.

6.7%: The millennial unemployment rate (18-29) decreased to 6.7 percent in August. When adjusting for pre-recession 2007 labor force participation rates, this figure increases to 10.4 percent.