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In order to keep up with the nature of free, spirited debate, I wanted to place the chat feature at the top of the homepage. This ensures people can come here and share their views on anything they wish and not have it be related to any specific discussion. Here, people can share ideas, links, and views "unmoderated" and an their own pace. To me, this makes The Elephant in the Room blog truly a place for debate.

Friday, December 7, 2012

The November 2012 Jobs Report

Here is the November 2012 employment situation report from the BLS:

Key Highlights:

- The unemployment rate declined to 7.7%. Non-farm employers added 146,000 new jobs.

- The number of unemployed persons remained relatively flat at 12 million.

- The civilian labor force participation rate also decreased to 63.6% from 63.8% in October. This number matches the all-time low rate observed in 1981 and September of this year.

- The "not in labor force" count (those who have no job and have stopped looking for work) increased 542,000 from 88,341,000 to 88,883,000. This is the highest level it has been in a while.

- The number of persons employed for part-time economic reasons (those that are considered part-time involuntary workers) remained relatively flat at 8.2 million in November.

- Average hourly earnings rose by 4 cents. The 12-month average for hourly earnings have risen at a 1.7% yearly rate.

- The change in total non-farm payroll employment for September was revised from +148,000 to +132,000, and the change for October was revised from +171,000 to +138,000. 


  1. I wish the media would just stop reporting that misleading "unemployment rate". It's a rigged statistic designed to make things look better than they are. The labor participation rate is a much better indicator.

    I sometimes wonder if no one in government ever stops to consider the consequences of their constant lies and misleading statements. Eventually they lose all credibility and respect. How do they expect to maintain an orderly society when everyone is convinced that the government is comprised of a bunch of corrupt thieves and liars?

    1. A bit late to the party this round, but I actually agree.

      The only thing I'd like to add, is that this method of calculating the employment rate has been the accepted, official method for decades. And is the international standard measurement of unemployment, as accepted across most countries.

      I say this, because people tend to like to tag their disagreement with how the official unemployment rate is calculated with some sort of conspiracy theory, or Obama 'playing with the numbers', or the liberal media bias, etc. But its been this way for far longer than most people realize, and isn't unique to him, his administration, or anything like that.

      That doesn’t mean I don’t give a pass to the media (and well, people in general) for swarming around the number as if it’s the most important, accurate measure of all… as they shouldn’t… but let’s just be fair here on this being a long-standing issue that isn’t a fault of any current (or recent) administration.

    2. RKen - I certainly see your point, and people are going to have their opinions regardless. Whether grounded in truth or not, I can definitely see why people wouldn't trust the government. I don't think the government necessarily "fudges" the numbers or anything like that, but all I'm saying is that when you see info about how the numbers were reduced for both Sept and Oct... while I don't think the gov't actively did this, I can see why might sneer at this with some skepticism.

    3. I certainly wouldn't blame people for being skeptical of the government in general, either, but my point is simply that this method of calculating the unemployment has been accepted nationally (and internationally) well before Obama.

      And like I said, I agree with it not being a fair representation of the actual unemployment, and I agree with it being a horrible number to 'rally around' (as the media, many people and politicians tend to).

    4. I definitely agree with you. Labor participation rate, in my opinion, tells a better story. In extreme theory... we can have a labor participation rate of 40%, the remaining 60% would not be counted in the labor force (that number that we keep hearing about that simply "gives up" looking for work), and the U/E would be trumpeted as a victorious 0.0%.

      With respect to mistrust, I'm just saying, by no fault of the government, I certainly see why people are skeptical. It will always be that way.

  2. Scott

    I agree, for the most part, with about everything you said. Thank you for sharing.

    The media's reporting of this state is what makes it rigged. The stat itself is, by the way it's calculated - you could argue against that - real, but because the media wants to do anything it can to make Obama look good, it will report and trumpet this as a wonderful thing. So you are definitely correct there. And also, sir, you are 100% correct in saying that the labor participation rate is a better indicator.

    The only question I have is on the concept of government lies. This data is misleading, but only because it's broadcasted by the media. The media (in a technical sense, though many like point to it as an arm of the administration), is not the government.

    Furthermore, this does lead to a loss of trust.

    So I agree with you mostly, and as someone who follows this blog daily - it's, in my opinion, the best, most well-written place to share debates and ideas (I grew tired of the comment boards on cnn and Fox, since I've never seen you here, welcome.