Unemployment & Labor Participation Flat in November

Unemployment & Labor Participation Flat in November

Jobs data for November was released this week, so let’s take an updated look at the Seattle area’s unemployment rate and approximate labor participation rate alongside the national numbers.

Unemployment & Labor Participation

In November the Seattle area’s unemployment rate broke a four-month streak of increases, dipping just slightly from 5.7% in October to 5.6% last month. We are still in much better shape than the national job market, which had an unemployment rate of 7.0% in November.

On the flip side, our labor participation rate fell slightly in November, dropping from 69.4% to 69.3%. The national labor force participation rate in November rose 0.2 points to 63.0%.

For reference, in 2006 when everyone imagined the economy to be in great health, the local unemployment rate averaged 4.3% and the labor participation rate averaged 69.5%. Our labor force participation rate is still on par with the pre-bust period, but the unemployment rate needs to drop another percent and a half to reach the pre-bust levels. I still expect to see both measures back to early 2006 levels some time next year.

Next week we’ll take a look at job growth in the usual sectors around Seattle.

Sources:

Seasonally adjusted series used for all data sets.

  

About The Tim

Tim Ellis is the founder of Seattle Bubble. His background in engineering and computer / internet technology, a fondness of data-based analysis of problems, and an addiction to spreadsheets all influence his perspective on the Seattle-area real estate market.

8 comments:

  1. 1

    ” I still expect to see both measures back to early 2006 levels some time next year.”

    You’re much more optimistic than I am. I’m not even sure that’s even realistically possible, but I don’t consider it at all likely with the new jobs numbers still hovering at only around 200,000 a month. We’ll see though.

    Edit: Re-reading I see you’re mainly saying that you think the local unemployment rate will drop. That’s more likely than the national numbers getting back to where they were.

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  2. 2
    Macro Investor says:

    The unemployment rate is next to useless. You’re going to see it go way down in January, even though there are no more jobs. That is because congress has not renewed extended unemployment benefits and many people lose their benefits come Jan 1. They are no longer counted as unemployed even though they have no job and want one.

    The participation rate is more useful, but you have to subtract out retirements and immigration. It makes more sense to just report job numbers. But even then you have to look at part time vs full time. Obama care is causing a lot of employers to convert full time workers to part time with no benefits. They skew the numbers even more with seasonal adjustments and a guess at how many new businesses were formed.

    The best way to compare numbers is to just look at total jobs over time. Then the only question becomes quality — part time vs full, low paying vs high.

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  3. 3
    nize says:

    as soon as the $15/hour minimum wage takes effect, a lot of companies are going to be laying people off. this is a fact.

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  4. 4
    doug says:

    What a joke the actual true unemployment underemployment part time temp is close to 55 percent. Both the LFPR and unemployment data the government is using are totally outdated they get the unemployment rate through a certain number of phone calls while the LFPR is almost impossible to track and is likely 20 percent as most of these people are living with friends parents or in rv s. ALSO Take a look at the amount of people on food stamps. WE ARE REAL CLOSE TO A MASSIVE MEGA COLLAPSE. BUY GUNS.

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  5. 5
    doug says:

    RE: nize @ 3

    HAHA THE MINUMUM WAGE should be 22.00 an hour but thanks To ronald reagan trickle down economics the 99 percenters are getting screwed. You keep pisssing on the poor people and sooner or later they are gonna piss on you en mass……..

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  6. 6

    RE: nize @ 3 – The Seatac measure was meant to hit primarily employers who can’t easily move (although there is always technology and making existing employees work harder).

    As to Seattle’s prospects, I wouldn’t want to be the owner of commercial/retail/industrial space inside the city limits. Renewing leases will be much tougher in many locations.

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  7. 7
    Jonness says:

    Use it or lose it:

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/jobs

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  8. 8

    By doug @ 4:

    What a joke the actual true unemployment underemployment part time temp is close to 55 percent. Both the LFPR and unemployment data the government is using are totally outdated they get the unemployment rate through a certain number of phone calls while the LFPR is almost impossible to track and is likely 20 percent as most of these people are living with friends parents or in rv s. ALSO Take a look at the amount of people on food stamps. WE ARE REAL CLOSE TO A MASSIVE MEGA COLLAPSE. BUY GUNS.

    The solution is simple. Have the NSA calculate the unemployment rate. They already have all the phone data, so separate phone surveys wouldn’t be necessary. ;-)

    As to the last comment, most people already own guns. What they should be buying is ammunition!

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