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Unemployment Report: Providers Still Not Finding Work

In February 2008, 88.1 Million people were working in the provider class (Workers 25-54 years of age working 35 or more hours per week) Then the financial crisis hit and by the next February only 82.9 Million people in this group were employed.

By February 2010, only 79.9 Million. So in a period of just 2 years, 8.2 Million providers no longer had work.

It has been 4 years now since Feb 2008. How are we doing in recovering these lost jobs?

Today, it was reported that 80.7 Million providers are working. This means of the 8.2 Million jobs lost, 7.4 Million are still unable to find full time work.

In the last year, only 353 Thousand jobs have been recovered. Since the bottom in 2010, only 773 Thousand jobs out of the 8.2 Million provider jobs lost have been recovered.

Some may wonder why I have not mentioned the unemployment rate for this group, 7.3% versus 3.8% in 2008. The unemployment rate can be very deceptive. First, it does not count as unemployed people who are employed even part time! Second, if a person gets so discouraged that they stop looking for work, this causes the unemployment rate to go down. While there are measures of unemployment that try to adjust for these discouraged and part-time workers , these measures miss many people who would be working if the economy were better.

While the recovery in jobs is not happening yet, at least it is not getting any worse. Last month’s decline in durable goods orders, the largest drop since 2009, may indicate that the job market may continue to bounce around the bottom for months to come.

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