Here is a graph of the unemployment rate seasonally adjusted and not seasonally adjusted – plus, by request, two more graphs of the duration of unemployment.
Click on graph for larger image in new window.
The first graph shows the calculated unemployment rate – both seasonally adjusted (SA) and not seasonally adjusted (NSA).
Some sites noted the NSA rate was “only” 9.5% when the SA moved above 10% last October. Other sites noted that the NSA rate had hit 10.6% in January. Both sites were correct – but there is a clear seasonal pattern for employment, so the SA unemployment rate is the one to use. Note: the SA rate will be above the NSA rate in April.
ALSO – the graph above uses the calculated unemployment rate (unrounded). For March, the calculated unemployment rate was 9.749% up from 9.687% in February. Both were rounded to 9.7% …
And on duration of unemployment, by request:
This graph shows the duration of unemployment as a per cent of the civilian labour force (line graph unstacked). The graph shows the number of unemployed in four categories as provided by the BLS: less than 5 week, 6 to 14 weeks, 15 to 26 weeks, and 27 weeks or more.
Note: The BLS reports 15+ weeks, so the 15 to 26 weeks number was calculated.
This really shows the change in turnover – there was more turnover in the ’70s and ’80s, since the ‘less than 5 weeks’ category was much higher as a per cent of the civilian labour force than in recent years. This changed in the early ’90s – perhaps as a result of more careful hiring practices or changes in demographics or maybe other reasons – but if the level of normal turnover was the same as in the ’80s, the current unemployment rate would probably be the highest since WWII.
The last graph is a repeat, but the information is stacked in reverse order.
In March 2010, there were a record 6.55 million people unemployed for 27 weeks or more, or 4.3% of the labour force.
For more on duration (and possible causes) see my post yesterday: Duration of Unemployment
Earlier employment posts yesterday:
March Employment Report: 162K Jobs Added, 9.7% Unemployment Rate for graphs of unemployment rate and a comparison to previous recessions. Employment-Population Ratio, Part Time Workers, Unemployed over 26 Weeks Diffusion Index and Temporary Help Replay of a Q&A with BLS is here.
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