by Countable | 10.24.17
Recent official numbers regarding the economy are painting a positive and upward moving picture. Employment numbers released show drops in unemployment to numbers not seen in years.
Countable wants to know your experience of the job market. What’s happening when we step away from the numbers and into the real lives of Americans?
The unemployment rate reached a low of 4.2% in September. That’s the lowest rate since February of 2001 according to Trade Economics.
The number of new applications for unemployment benefits also dropped in September by 22,000, dropping to a total of 222,000. That’s the lowest new application number since March of 1973, reports USA Today.
As previously reported by Countable, other economic indicators are moving upward. Consumer confidence reached a 13-year high in early October. The stock market is continuing a 242 day streak of increases, reaching record highs, as of Monday.
The Commerce Department has reported a two year high in economic growth as of the end of September, the conclusion of the second quarter. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen stated that the economy is experiencing steady moderate growth:
"Economic activity in the United States has been growing moderately so far this year, and the labor market has continued to strengthen."
What’s your experience of the job market? How are things going out there in the realm of employment for you?
Tell us in the comments what you think, then use the Take Action button to tell your reps!
— Asha Sanaker
(Photo Credit: Bytemarks via Flickr / Creative Commons)*
U.S. Lost 33,000 Jobs in September; Unemployment Rate Dips to 4.2% — New York Times
U.S. Payrolls Fall 33,000 on Storms; Jobless Rate at 4.2% — Bloomberg News
How the Government Measures Unemployment — U.S. Dept of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics
Written by Countable
I worked for our State Unemployment Agency. Claim numbers drop when folks are no longer eligible for unemployment. That means either they got a job or they dropped off the end of their eligibility period and cannot claim Unemployment. Voters need to be analytical
Yes there are jobs out there so everyone can get a job but wait let’s talk about discrimination not only against different ethnic groups but also women, age and if you have a felony in your past. Then let’s talk about wages. The cost of living is sky high but the wages are so low. In order for the average person to get anywhere in life you need to work 2 or 3 jobs. For the people who think unemployment runs forever it doesn’t. You get hardly anything from unemployment, barely able to pay rent or eat. And you can only be on it if you put into it. People get fired for a variety of reasons and people get laid off.
The numbers referred to do not reflect the nuance of the true employment/unemployment situation. I’m well educated but can’t find long term employment that pays for housing, food, and healthcare. I certainly cannot afford to repay the student loans that I cannot discharge in bankruptcy (thanks, GOP!). I believe that the corporatist GOP is playing a long game: disenfranchise the poor, take away access to housing and healthcare, then wait for the heavily armed police/security forces to jail or kill off the ones who aren’t taken out of the picture by health issues, starvation, or exposure to the extreme climate events the GOP continues to enable. I know that this is weird and paranoid thinking, but it is looking more possible to me with every month that passes. Once the poor who aren’t useful as a servant underclass are gone, then the billionaire oligarchs can pick and choose where to create their personal fiefdoms and they won’t have to worry about democracy, accountability, or sharing the resources that remain after the slow purge. I know, it’s way too crazy to ever happen, right?
The Obama administration changed the guidelines for calculating unemployment! If you were working full time and lost your job and then got a part time job you were listed as employed again. If you didn’t get a job and collected unemployment for 26 weeks you were considered unemployed and after the 26 weeks you were dropped from any tabulation! Hence unemployment “dropped” under Obama! It’s time to revise how unemployment is calculated! If you’re part time you’re 50% unemployed. If you’re collecting or not collecting but able to work- you’re 100% unemployed! Time for common sense to be applied!!
People are working 3 part time jobs No full time available The numbers are not accurate Let’s see the true facts and figures
I work hard. Every day. I can't save to buy a home or collage for my daughter. Fuck capitalism. It's the most horrible religion ever.
I work 40+ hours a week, have a bachelor's degree in applied behavioral science and I make a little over minimum wage at Starbucks as a supervisor. I work more off the clock handling personnel issues and maintenance than I can tell management because I'll receive corrective-actions for hitting overtime. If I don't, the store won't run smoothly and we won't hit our targets and pass our inspections. I've bee. Actively looking for something better for over 2 years. I've failed. I'll take anything that pays me more, treats me better, and does t keep me up at night. I've had a few other jobs that at the end of the day my conscience kept me from sleep. Can't do that. The economy isn't better, we are under employed, by a lot. I make less now then I did a decade ago, by a lot! I didn't even have a degree when I worked for Starbucks 10 years ago doing the same job and I made more. Sooo yeah totally crap economy republican congress, remember trickle down economics didn't work 20 years ago, won't work now fellas...
I lost my job in March, 2016 after 40 years at various companies. I chose to retire at the age of 61 rather than subject myself to the age discrimination rampant in the IT sector that caused me to lose my job in the first place. Being a female doesn't help either. There are jobs out there for sure. I pass Now Hiring signs all the time. Taking a professional making over $100K per year and giving them a job paying minimum wage is not reducing unemployment. Instead of counting gross numbers, where is the breakdown on the "under employed"? Where are the numbers of people like me who decided not to join the ranks of the Unemployment office? All statistics can be skewed to prove your point. The overall economy is only improving for those with money in the stock market. The average citizen is not really participating.
I worked for 30 years in fairly low pay jobs in accounting. I became disabled in 2008. Due to lower wages, I don’t have a big IRA. After 47 years of marriage, my husband divorced me because it was nearing his retirement age and he said it was his time to go have fun! I can hardly ever do anything, so I was out! Now, I cannot count on my disability, since so much was cut from budget. I can’t believe I have ended up like this!
In my experience the job market is good BUT there is stagnation in wages. Additionally there continues to be barriers for people over age 50-or those with a felony. There also continues to be too much welfare, food stamps and other social programs which work against full employment in our country. I realize that’s another whole issue but if these people were brought back into the job market our employment numbers would look dismal. And finally, a comprehensive look at our economy would include a realistic look at the impact artificial intelligence and technology will have on the job market. It seems silly to be discussing unemployment numbers when various places in the world are experimenting with a guaranteed livable income that does not require work.
I have worked hard all my life. I have always been able to get a job,maybe not the one I wanted, but a job.
My husband was downsizes a few years ago. Unemployment insurance is not enough money to live on. And, it is a privilege that workers have earned. Please do both think of it as a handout. His industry seems to me to have run itself into the ground. 20 years ago he had a good work environment, bonuses, good insurance, enough people and equipment to do a good quality job. Now, he hasn’t had a raise in several years, labs are running on skeleton crews, he often works 50+hours per week with no extra pay because he is salaried, and benefits pay less and less as the years go by.
Unemployment is real! Just like global warming. It is hurting this nation and if we don’t address it we will all end up burning the economy. We need a square deal.
You want my opinion, fine, here it is. The Obama administration didn’t change how the country counts unemployment, it has always had a limited amount of weeks. After you received the requisite amount of unemployment, you were dropped from the rolls until you hit retirement age; Social Security, got another job full or part time, joined the military, if you were able or went back to school; all of which meant you were now a member/number of another group; student, retiree, military, etc.. BTW, it was during the 80’s, that Social Security was no longer considered a separate budget or entity, President Reagan decided that Social Security should be considered part of the budget and could therefore be used to fund necessary over spending in other categories or departments of the government. Part of the logic was that workers at that time received a pension, Social Security and if the retired from government, military, first responders, etc. and/or a union job; they received a retirement paycheck from those entities. President Reagan called it double or triple dipping. As far as the unemployment rate & the alleged plethora of jobs available for workers. That’s a lie that our wonderful government has been trying to shove up our butts for at least 3 years! In fact, on the news this week, because of jobs with Uber, etc., typically minimum wage jobs like McDonald’s, Wendy’s, etc. are having a really hard time hiring and retaining workings, because they can’t stay competitive. And I’m sorry, but regardless of who you are, you can’t provide a roof over head, food on the table, healthcare, medical, fuel and clothing, especially for children on one, two or even three minimum wage jobs. In the state of Florida, the most you can make with unemployment is $275.00 minus taxes a week. That wouldn’t even pay for rent and food for a week for a single person, much less a family. If you have anything that can be used against you in the workplace; over 50, female, male, race, religion, sexual orientation, health, disability, fat, too thin, too smart, not a good brown noser, make too much money, dominate, submissive, criminal record, poor credit score, independent, over educated or under educated, recruiters & hiring managers really have no wish to interview the person for any number of reasons. So no, these are not true numbers, which means that numbers for homeless, those living below the poverty line, uninsured are all lies.
The Govt. can and do manipulate the #’s to say what they want you to think. However I do believe businesses have been reluctant to spend $$$ the last 8 years due to the Govt.’s socialist climate. But now they see that climate change back to capitalism and willing to hire and spent. Now the GOP establishment needs to get on board and continue this trend or we will slip back.
I work in an industry where annual raises used to be the norm. It only varied by how much. That’s not the case anymore. I’ve gone 8 years now without a raise. And I’m old enough to be afraid of challenging my employer because if I lose my job I’ll encounter age discrimination.
If the ACA continues there will at least be less health discrimination. Unfortunately, prior to the ACA, someone with annual out of pocket healthcare expenses of $5000 would be unable to even consider minimum salary levels and in dire situations would have to choose between medication and food or gas. The ACA falls far short of leveling the playing field, as the medical and pharmaceutical industries still have too much control over pricing, but it's a start. Single payer health care is a must have if anywhere near full employment is to be achieved. Only then can a fully able but chronic diseases sufferer compete for the same jobs as their healthy counterparts.
Yes I have seen more and more jobs available in my area and a large drop in homeless and unemployment. Lots of now hiring sign in windows.
As an over 60 worker I find more of us are being let go and its almost impossible to get hired again at the same wage you’ve built up as a loyal employee. We end up working at a lower wage. It’s terrifying to know this is your last big chance to make and save as much as you can before retirement and double time to make the wage you lost.
I put on job fairs and do the Employment Announcements for 3 newspapers and their websites. Employers are short-staffed and tell me daily that they cannot get enough people to apply for their job openings. Employers are desperate, and are raising wages. I don't have any advertisers paying below $11/hr now. I estimate that 75% of jobs advertised here (Lawrence, KS area) are full-time, with benefits. At our job fairs in Kansas City we typically have 2,000 job openings and about 200 job seekers show up, and employers are grateful for them! Employers feel there are no longer enough unemployed workers to fill the job openings, so on Nov 1 we're holding an evening job fair to attract people who are working during the day, but want a better job. We're offering free sandwiches so they can come straight from work and apply for other jobs. Already there are over 600 job openings employers hope to fill at the job fair. ------- There are hundreds of people going to the Workforce Center to file for unemployment and look for work, but why are they not coming to the job fairs? Why aren't they applying for the openings that are announced on Jobs.Lawrence.com and in the newspapers? I do a training/motivational seminar at job fairs, homeless shelters, jails (re-entry programs), and social service agencies, and I meet discouraged people who don't understand that 1) The #1 reason people don't get hired is they never applied for the job; 2) Employers want people who will show up every day; 3) Employers want people who get along with their supervisor, co-workers, and the customers; 4) Employees must care about doing good work; 5) It's important to "Be Smart"...and I don't mean IQ--I mean "Don't do dumb things!" Like throwing bolts at each other, throwing a customer's change on the counter so it bounces onto the floor, hiding a coworker's purse (which then ends up missing the rent money), blaming others when you get angry and destroy company property, etc, etc. In the industry we call these "soft skills" (we used to call them "common sense" but stopped for obvious reasons). SO! What is the problem? ----- Tons of unfilled jobs, without enough people applying for them. It doesn't sound like a job shortage! It's a shortage of hard workers who have the confidence and desire to apply, and the willingness and understanding of what employers need them to do so that they can 1) Get the job, and 2) Keep the job.