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Monday, February 6, 2012

Employment is up, sort of

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 243,000 jobs were added in January 2012. This is an impressive increase in the employment rate, especially considering an increase of only 135,000 was expected. Employment rates reports get revised; in the previous two months, they were revised upwards. Did something go right?

From BLS Household Data Table A-12. Unemployed persons by duration of unemployment

From the table, you can see the average length of time a person is unemployed is somewhat longer than a year ago, but better than last month. Under Obama, the employment situation has gotten worse, even though it got slightly better recently.

The BLS reported, "In January, 2.8 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, essentially unchanged from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) These individuals were not in the labor force, [but they] wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months."

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