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Thursday, July 03, 2014 1:04 PM

Trends in Full-Time Employment vs. Civilian Non-Institutional Population

This month's job report showed a seasonally-adjusted decline in full-time employment of 523,000.

Let's dive a little deeper and look at full-time employment vs. the civilian non-institutional population. The latter is non-seasonally adjusted, yet shows no seasonal variations, so we can compare to seasonally-adjusted employment numbers.

First, let's start with a look at widely-touted gains in employment that show jobs are at an all-time high.

Total NonFarm Employment 2003-2014

Full-Time Employment 2003-2014

Full-time employment was 121,875,000 right at the onset of the recession in November 2007. Today full-time employment is 118,204,000. The difference is 3,671,000.

In the last month, full-time employment declined by 523,000 while voluntary part-time employment rose by a whopping 840,000.  Meanwhile, those wanting full-time employment (but only finding part-time employment) rose by 250,000.

Full-Time Employment 1970-2014

Never before has it taken so long to recover employment back to pre-recession peaks.

Let's look at this another way: How fast is employment growing vs. the rise in population?

Full-Time Employment vs. Civilian Non-Institutional Population

The green line (population minus full-time employment) shows that from the mid-1980s through the start of the recession, full-time employment outpaced population growth. Since then full-time employment has lagged.

Such details shows seemingly good job numbers are nowhere near as good as widely touted.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

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