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U.S. Unemployment Rates Are Down In Contrast To Prior Years

Unemployment Rates

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has indicated that unemployment statistics have remain unchanged since February, as current unemployment remains at 5.5 percent, or 8.7 million people. However, some researchers have noted a slight increase in employment with growing numbers in comparison to prior years.

During the Great Recession, unemployment rates declined as a result of some folks simply giving up on looking for work, which resulted in a decreased workforce. The opposite was true in May when the labor force expanded by 71,800 people the largest monthly increase since 1990, which economists say bodes well for future job growth.

According to this month’s economic release by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, mining is one of the areas in which employment continues to decline, whilst professional and business services, leisure and hospitality, and health care have all experienced job gains. Employment in other major industries such as manufacturing, wholesale trade, information and government showed little change over the month.

The Los Angeles Times reports that the Californian real estate market was hit the hardest by the economic downturn, however, experts stated that housing and construction jobs are some of the quickest to bounce back in an expansion. Due to the fact that California’s property prices are higher than the rest of the U.S., the state is exposed to larger swings in parts of the economy tied to real estate.

A professor of economics at Cal State University, Channel Islands, has stated that the real estate business is one of the quickest to recover, perhaps due to the fact that it was the most quickly affected by the economic downfall or in the words of Islands, “We are going up faster because we went down faster.”

We are going up faster because we went down faster.

A principal at Holwick Constructors in Woodland Hills, Mike Holwick, stated that the company pulled in more revenue last year than in any time since the overtake of the company back in 2002. The company specializes in interior office construction for the entertainment and legal industries. He said that in the last two years, clients have splurged more on employee lounges, TVs in offices and much higher-end finishes.

The company usually subcontracts work to other companies, yet lately construction workers are in such high demand that Holwick was experiencing difficulty relying on subcontractors used in the past. He commented that they are simply “too busy.”

They’re just stretched thin. In the last two years, I’ve had more subcontractors decline to bid than I did in the previous 10. They’re too busy.

The unemployment rate in California increased by 0.1 percent since April, bringing it to 6.4 percent, however, this is a significant decrease in comparison to last year’s 7.6 percent. The statistics are based on the inspection of major work groups:

  • Men – 5 percent
  • Adult Women – 5 percent
  • Teenagers – 17.9 percent
  • Whites – 4.7 percent
  • Blacks – 10.2 percent
  • Asians – 4.1 percent
  • Hispanics – 6.7 percent

These groups showed little or no change in May. Unemployed new entrants those who have never before worked  made up to 103,000 people in May, however, the number has remained constant throughout the year.

The number of people unemployed for less than 5 weeks decreased by 311,000, bringing the number to 2.4 million in May; this number increased back in April. The number of long-term unemployed (27 weeks or more) stayed the same: 2.5 million in May accounting for 28.6 percent of the unemployed. The long-term unemployment numbers have decreased by 849,000 people.

Another category in stasis is those who are employed part-time due to economic reasons, which remained solid at 6.7 million in May. This category is sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers. These are individuals who would have preferred full-time positions but are working part time either due to cutbacks in hours or an inability to find full-time employment.

Among the unemployed, there were 563,000 discouraged workers in May, which is a decrease of 134,000 in comparison to the previous year. Discouraged workers are defined as those who are not currently looking for work due to a belief that there are no jobs available for them. Lastly, there’s another group of people not looking for work: those who stated reasons including school attendance and/or family responsibilities.

The average workweek for all employees on private non-farm payrolls held at 34.5 hours. The manufacturing work week was unchanged at 40.7 hours and factory overtime held steady at 3.3 hours. The average workweek for production and non-supervisory employees on non-farm payrolls increased by 0.1 hour, raising the total to 33.7 hours.

The hourly earnings for all employees on private non-farm payrolls rose by 8 cents, raising it to $24.96. Over the year, average hourly earnings have risen by 2.3 percent while average hourly earnings of private-sector production and non-supervisory employees rose by 6 cents, bringing the total up to $20.97.

The unemployment rate in California increased by 0.1 percent since April, raising it to 6.4 percent, however, this marks a significant decrease in comparison to last year’s 7.6 percent, the LA Times reported.

June’s unemployment assessment is scheduled to be released on July 2, 2015 at 8.30 a.m. (ETD).

Back in May, the U.S. unemployment rate reportedly dropped after 233,000 jobs were added in April.

Have you had trouble finding work or are you gainfully employed?

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