- Articles - 2012  - US Jobs Report & Unemployment Rate History - Current Release and an Historical Chart
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US Jobs Report & Unemployment Rate History
Current Release and Historical US unemployment rate graph
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 Unemployment Rate Chart

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November 2, 2012:  Today the US Department of Labor announced the unemployment rate grew 0.1% to 7.9% in October 2012 from 7.8% in September.  Sadly, average hourly earnings also fell.    Unemployment Rate Chart
     Household Survey Data Both the unemployment rate (7.9 percent) and the number of unemployed persons (12.3 million) were essentially unchanged in October, following declines in September.
     Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate for blacks increased to 14.3 percent in October, while the rates for adult men (7.3 percent), adult women (7.2 percent), teenagers (23.7 percent), whites (7.0 percent), and Hispanics (10.0 percent) showed little or no change. The jobless rate for Asians was 4.9 percent in October (not seasonally adjusted), down from 7.3 percent a year earlier.
     Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 171,000 in October. Employment growth has averaged 157,000 per month thus far in 2012, about the same as the average monthly gain of 153,000 in 2011.
      In October, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls edged down by 1 cent to $23.58. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have risen by 1.6 percent. In October, average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees edged down by 1 cent to $19.79.

Unemployment higher, hourly earnings lower and the annual increase in earnings at 1.6% is less than inflation. None of this is good for an economic recovery.  From Consumer Price Index Summary 
"The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.6 percent in September on a seasonally adjusted basis, the U.S.   Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today (October 16, 2012.) Over the last 12 months,  the all items index increased 2.0 percent before seasonal adjustment."
From Chartoftheday.com1
Today, the Labor Department reported that the unemployment rate ticked up to 7.9%. For some perspective on the current state of the labor market, today's chart illustrates the unemployment rate since 1948. As today's chart illustrates, the unemployment rate has been (despite this month's uptick) trending lower since peaking at 10% back in October 2009. While the overall downtrend of the unemployment rate is positive, it is worth noting that the current unemployment rate remains at a level that has rarely been surpassed during the post-World War II era.

S&P500 Inflation Adjusted                            Earnings

Note 1.  Source: Chart of the Day  "Journalists and bloggers may post the above free Chart of the Day on their website as long as the chart is unedited and full credit is given with a live link to Chart of the Day at"
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