Sunday, March 18, 2012

Mfg. Jobless Rate: Below National Avg. for 9 Mos.

In February, the jobless rate for manufacturing was 8.4% (not seasonally adjusted) compared to the 8.7% national rate for all industries (not seasonally adjusted).  That marks the ninth consecutive month starting last June that the jobless rate for the manufacturing sector of the U.S. economy has been below the national jobless rate, and reverses a 32-month period from October 2008 to May 2011 when the manufacturing jobless rate was equal to or higher than the national average rate.  The gap during that period was at its highest in April 2009 when the manufacturing jobless rate was almost 4 points higher (at 12.4%) than the national average rate of 8.6%.  

There has never been a comparable 9-month period going back to when the BLS started tracking jobless rates by industry that manufacturing unemployment was below the national average for that many consecutive months.  As reported previously, U.S. manufacturing has been leading the recovery on many economic measures including job creation, output growth and profits. 


At 3/18/2012 7:35 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

i'm curious about this.

how exactly do you determine the numerator and denominator of this?

first, you need to come up with the number of unemployed seeking jobs. how do you ensure you get all the "manufacturing" unemployed?

then you need the "manufacturing labor force". this is even trickier and creates a definite source of data skew. you could get a big drop in reported unemployment just from "people no longer looking for work" or those "part time for economic reasons".

u3 is a really dodgy indicator for precisely those reasons. most of the drop in reported unemployment has been due to a drop in labor force participation in the last couple years, not from job creation.

i'm a bit skeptical that these numbers can be meaningfully arrived at and that the headline number can separate discouragement from job creation.

At 3/18/2012 8:15 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

how exactly do you determine the numerator and denominator of this?

EXACTLY??? You don't. This is likely one of those convenient estimates.


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