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Economics of Employment Statistics

Autor:   •  March 3, 2011  •  803 Words (4 Pages)  •  989 Views

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Employment/Unemployment

Employment and Unemployment on the macroeconomic level directly correlate to the health of our economy. Total Employment can be broken down and measured by several different sets of data: Total Nonfarm Employment, Civilian Unemployment Rate, New Jobless Claims and Help-Wanted Online Advertising. Statistical analysis of both current and historical trends within this data can be used as an indicator to predict future states of the economy.

It is important to understand where and how total employment statistics are gathered in order to properly analyze the data. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) collects data on employment, hours and earnings from approximately 390,000 business establishments (Clayton 77). The data is collected from surveys conducted during the reference week, which is the calendar week (Saturday through Sunday) containing the 12th day of the month. This data is then used to comprise the Current Employment Statistics (CES) survey that covers the nonfarm payroll estimates for total employment, average weekly hours worked and the average earnings. Total nonfarm employment is classified as being employed if, during the reference week, he or she did any work at all as a paid employee, worked in their own business or profession for pay or worked without pay at least 15 hours in the family business (Clayton 78). When the Total Nonfarm Employment data is graphed in relation to millions of workers, the trend line can indicate how the workforce and economy is doing on the whole. The Total Nonfarm Employment can be considered a coincident indicator of a recession when it begins to fall. Conversely, the recovery of Total Nonfarm Data is a lagging indicator for the end of a recession.

In the monthly Employment Situation Summary, the BLS reports the most current employment situation consisting of the number of new jobs created or lost within the civilian labor force and is the source of the monthly unemployment rate. To be counted as unemployed, you have to be considered part of the civilian labor force and without a job during the survey week. The civilian labor force (CLF) is defined as "all civilians 16 years or older who are not confined to an institution and are not on active duty in the armed forces" (Clayton 86). These persons would have to be both available and looking for work and would have to have made at least one specific effort to find a job during the month preceding the survey

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