Now See The REAL State Of The US labour Market

Econ Edge Employment 8

On Friday, the BLS announced that unemployment in November had edged down to 10%, which was WAY better than analysts had been expecting. The report was, arguably, the first major green shoot on the unemployment front.

(Though ominously, it came even as other measures of economic activity showed signs of backsliding in November.)

But before you crack open the champagne about one month, you should get some perspective

Nathan A. Martin at Nathan’s Economic Edge has gone through all of the employment data, most of it out of the St. Louis Fed, and it paints a grim picture about how bad the employment situation really is. The scope of the problem — which has now become an obsession in Washington — truly remains enormous.

Now, see the evidence >>>

To start, the US population is only going up. It's quite steady.

Source: Nathan's Economic Edge: The State of the Union in Charts

The Civilian Employment Population ratio is arguably the purest measure of unemployment there is. It's simply, the percentage of civilians that are working. And it's only going down.

Source: Nathan's Economic Edge: The State of the Union in Charts

Here's the same measure, but going back longer. We're at a level not seen since the 1980s, and the same level we were at in the 40s.

Source: Nathan's Economic Edge: The State of the Union in Charts

Meanwhile, the persons not in the labour force continues to grow and grow.

Source: Nathan's Economic Edge: The State of the Union in Charts

Source: Nathan's Economic Edge: The State of the Union in Charts

Here's pure manufacturing workers. Again, back to 1942 levels.

Source: Nathan's Economic Edge: The State of the Union in Charts

Durable goods workers, again, the raw number is where it was in 1942 (and the total population has doubled since then).

Source: Nathan's Economic Edge: The State of the Union in Charts

Ugh. Workers in non-durable goods is lower than it ever has been since The Great Depression

Source: Nathan's Economic Edge: The State of the Union in Charts

In construction, thankfully, we're only back to 2000 levels.

Source: Nathan's Economic Edge: The State of the Union in Charts

This is the headline unemployment report you frequently see cited. Look, green shoots!

Source: Nathan's Economic Edge: The State of the Union in Charts

Now here's the total number of unemployed.

Source: Nathan's Economic Edge: The State of the Union in Charts

And here's the number of persons unemployed 27 weeks or more. No green shoots here.

Source: Nathan's Economic Edge: The State of the Union in Charts

There is some improvement in the number of workers unemployed 5 weeks or less.

Source: Nathan's Economic Edge: The State of the Union in Charts

Again, the mean duration of unemployment is at brand new records.

Source: Nathan's Economic Edge: The State of the Union in Charts

Finally, continuing unemployment claims has turned down BUT it's largely due to workers falling off the rolls.

Source: Nathan's Economic Edge: The State of the Union in Charts

NOW WATCH: Money & Markets videos

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.