Jobenomics U.S. Employment Analysis: Q3 2015
By: Chuck Vollmer
23 October 2015
Jobenomics tracks both unemployment (Jobenomics U.S. Unemployment Analysis: Q3 2015) and employment (Jobenomics U.S. Employment Analysis: Q3 2015).
Download Complete Reports: Jobenomics U.S. Employment Analysis-Q3 2015, 23 Oct 2015 (23 pages) & Jobenomics U.S. Unemployment Analysis-Q3 2015, 10 Nov 2015 (30 pages).
Executive Summary Only.
While recent employment and unemployment trends are positive, these trends are more than offset by the number of people departing the U.S. labor force. Consequently, the U.S. continues on an unsustainable course. Greater small business and job creation is needed along with greater reduction of able-bodied American adults voluntarily leaving the labor force—usually to public welfare or familial assistance.
In September 2015, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Employment Situation Summary reported that 142,000 Americans entered the U.S. labor force and that 579,000 able-bodied Americans voluntarily departed the labor force. As a result, the net workforce loss was 437,000 Americans. Over the last quarter (Q3: July, August, September 2015), a total of 501,000 people entered the U.S. labor force and 984,000 voluntarily departed, for a net loss of 483,000 people in the labor force. Labor force statistics are also shown covering the last year, the period since year 2010 (the Jobenomics starting point), since 2009 (the start of the Obama Administration) and since 2000. Since 2000, the U.S. labor force has suffered a net loss of 14,362,000 workers.
The United States consistently produced tens of millions of new jobs for six consecutive decades. Then the bottom fell out in the decade of the 2000s with a net loss of 1.2 million jobs. Consequently, it is critical that significant numbers of jobs are created this decade (’10s) for the U.S. economy to prosper. 20 million net new jobs by year 2020 is a goal that has been historically achieved in previous decades, but it is the number needed to accommodate new labor force entrants, a growing population and a “full employment” rate of 5%. Based on a goal of 20 million jobs by 2020, the U.S. economy is progressing steadily upward, producing 12.2 million new jobs by the end of Q3 2015, which is a 26% shortfall based on a goal of 20 million jobs by 2020. The Jobenomics National Grassroots Movement is committed to creating 20 million new jobs every ten years.
Since 1980 (voluntary departures to the Not-in-Labor-Force BLS category is not available before 1980), the United States has suffered a serious and ominous reversal in the number of job gains as compared to job losses. As shown, in both the 1980s and 1990s, U.S. labor force gains greatly exceeded the number of voluntary departures. In the decade starting in year 2000, the U.S. labor force loss of 1.1 million workers as well as 15.2 million citizens who departed the labor force. Hemorrhaging of jobs in the 2000s was largely due to collapse of the dot-com bubble that caused the 2001 Recession and the sub-prime mortgage crisis that led to the Great Recession from December 2007 to June 2009. From 2010 to 1 October 2015, labor force gains and losses have been relatively equal, 12.7 million gains and 10.8 million losses respectively. Based on current trends and assuming no financial crises during the remainder of this decade, Jobenomics projects 22.1 million new workforce entrants versus 18.8 voluntary departures.
Given the fact that since the 1940s, the U.S. economy has averaged 1.7 recessions per decade, this makes it likely that current labor force gains could deteriorate, perhaps significantly, depending on the severity of the next recession. From a Jobenomics perspective, the United States has avoided a recession this decade for two major reasons. First, the U.S. federal government and the U.S. Federal Reserve (central bank) infused approximately $17 trillion dollars’ worth of stimuli and incentive programs into U.S. financial institutions and corporations since the onset of the Great Recession. Second, compared to other struggling economies, the relative strength of the U.S. economy continued to attract foreign investment in the United States. The net result of both of these factors facilitated a slow economic recovery where the top 1% got much richer while the American middle-class eroded. However, these factors are coming to an end and the U.S. economy will have to operate on its own with a poorer middle-class consumer and a decaying labor force.
34% of all Americans financially support the rest of the country. Out of a total population of 322 million Americans, 110 million private sector workers support 32 million government workers and government contractors, 95 million able-bodied people who can work but chose not to work, 69 million who cannot work (at home caregivers, children, retired and institutionalized citizens), and 16 million unemployed and underemployed (U6 rate).
Of the 110 million, approximately 69 million individuals work full-time, 26 million are part-timers (less than 35 hours per week) and 15 million are self-employed. Part-time workers (temporary contract workers, seasonal workers, etc.) and self-employed (consultants, independent contractors, independent professionals, freelancers, etc.) are known as “contingent” workers who are growing exceedingly fast. Contingency workers represent 29% of the U.S. workforce as surveyed by the BLS. Jobenomics forecasts that contingent work could become the dominant (over 50%) form of labor in the U.S. workforce in the next ten to fifteen years. The Jobenomics projection of 50%, or more, is a reasonable guesstimate given current trends in (1) labor force gains and losses, (2) ongoing technology revolutions, (3) the emerging digital economy, (4) cultural differences of new labor force entrants, and (5) growing part-time labor force.
The U.S. economy cannot be sustained by 34% supporting an overhead of 66%. More people must be productively engaged in the private sector labor force for the U.S. economy to flourish. Job creation involves business creation, especially small business creation. In this decade, U.S. small businesses (less than 500 employees) created 78.8% of all new jobs. Today, small businesses employ 77.9% of all private sector Americans with a total of 93.6 million employees—over 5 times the amount of large corporations. Equally important, micro businesses with less than 19 employees employ 68% more than large corporations. Without an aggressive small business creation and sustainment plan, the U.S. economy is unlikely to prosper as it did in the 20th Century.
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