Unemployment Stats: The Breakdown

  • Unemployment Signals Gloomier Outlook

    By Christopher Leaonard, AP Business Writer If the recession really is ending, someone forgot to tell the nation's employers. A net total of 263,000 jobs vanished from the economy last month — much worse than economists' expectation of 180,000 job losses. The Labor Department figures set the stage for a scenario that labor analysts expect: that joblessness will continue to rise for several months or more after the economy starts to rebound. The unemployment rate stands at 9.8%, a 26-year high. The rate would have been higher if 571,000 people hadn't dropped out of the labor force, which many did in frustration over failing to find jobs. That leaves 15.1 million Americans out of work, a huge pool of people. Many discouraged workers are likely to re-enter the labor market and compete for jobs that will eventually be created. That's why the overall unemployment rate — measuring people searching for work who can't find it — can continue to rise even after employers start creating thousands of jobs each month. Even though economists think the economy has begun to grow, it could be well into 2010 before job creation ramps up. Here are some details, by the numbers. Photo Credit: Passionate Photo
    Slack in the Work Force
  • Slack in the Work Force

    33: The average number of hours in a workweek. This figure fell back to the record low it hit earlier this year. It indicates many companies aren't operating near full capacity — and they may boost the hours of their part-time workers before hiring more full-time staff. 103,000: The increase in people who hold a part-time job because they can't find full-time work. That number has climbed steadily this year, reaching 9.1 million in September. $616.11: The average weekly earnings of private-sector workers. This figure has fallen 1.3% since January, in part because employers are cutting hours. $18.67: The average hourly wage. Up a penny from August. Photo Credit: Getty Images
    Dismal Prospects
  • Dismal Prospects

    26.2 weeks: The average duration that unemployed workers are out of a job, a record high since the Labor Department started tracking the figure in 1948. The figure is up from 19.8 weeks in January. 5.4 million: The number of people unemployed longer than 27 weeks, also at a post-World War II peak, though today's larger labor market is a contributing factor. 17%: The unemployment rate when it includes frustrated workers who have dropped out of the labor market, people forced into part-time work and those who want a job but haven't looked recently. 263,0000: The total number of jobs lost in September. Photo Credit: Photomish Dan
    Harder on Men
  • Harder on Men

    10.3%: The unemployment rate for men over age 20, up from 10.1% last month. Men were hit particularly hard by job cuts at factories and construction sites. 7.8%: The unemployment rate for women, 2 percentage points less than the overall average. 25.9%: The record-high unemployment rate among teenagers. 9%: The unemployment rate for white adults. 15.4%: The unemployment rate for black adults. 12.7%: The unemployment rate for Hispanic adults. Photo Credit: mahalie
    Leading in Job Losses
  • Leading in Job Losses

    64,000: The number of construction jobs lost in September, mostly in nonresidential and heavy construction. The sector has lost 1.5 million jobs since the recession began. 51,000: The number of manufacturing jobs lost in September. The sector has lost 2.1 million jobs since the recession began. 10,000: The number of financial sector jobs lost in September. The sector has lost 541,000 jobs since the recession began. Photo Credit: Seattle Municipal Archives
    One Healthy Sector
  • One Healthy Sector

    19,000: Number of health care jobs added in September. 559,000: Number of health care jobs added since recession began 22,000: Average monthly job gain in the health care sector this year. 30,000: Average monthly job gain in the health care sector this year. ___ Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. —For the best rates on loans, bank accounts and credit cards, enter your ZIP code at BankingMyWay.com. Photo Credit: HA! Designs
Show Comments