Jim Geragthy at NRO asks:

So What’s the Real Unemployment Rate?

Hmm. In June, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said the civilian labor force was 154,926,000 people.

In July, 796,000 of those were taken out of their definition of the workforce, and thus their unemployment calculations for this month, because they have stopped looking for work “because they believe no jobs are available for them.” Ten percent of the June workforce would be 15.4 million, 1 percent would be 1.5 million, and so 796,000 is roughly one half of one percent.

In other words, BLS took .5 percent of what you and I would consider unemployed and took them out of their total. And with that, unemployment went down one tenth of one percent.

Of course, if you take the July number of unemployed, 14.5 million, and add that 796,000 of discouraged workers, you get a total of 15,296,000.

In a work force of July’s number of 154,504,000, that’s an unemployment rate of 9.9 percent.

In a work for of June’s number of 154,926,000, that’s an unemployment rate of 9.8 percent.


Current Employment Statistics – CES (National)

2009 Total nonfarm over-the-month change, not seasonally adjusted (in thousands)

JANUARY (-3615), FEBRUARY (-164), MARCH (-61), APRIL (259), MAY (384), JUNE (-69)(p),

JULY (-1333)(p)

(p) – preliminary


USA Business Newspapers, Media, and ObamaEcon: LipStick On A Pig?



June 2009
July 2009
July 2009
July 2009
June 2009
2nd Qtr 2009
1st Qtr 2009
June 2009
August 1, 2009
August 1, 2009
(p) preliminary; (c) corrected


Nonfarm payroll employment continued to decline in July (-247,000),and the unemployment rate was little changed at 9.4 percent, the U.S.Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. The average monthly jobloss for May through July (-331,000) was about half the averagedecline for November through April (-645,000). In July, job losses continued in many of the major industry sectors.

Household Survey Data

In July, the number of unemployed persons was 14.5 million. The unemployment rate was 9.4 percent, little changed for the second consecutive month. (See table A-1.)

Among the major worker groups, unemployment rates for adult men (9.8percent), adult women (7.5 percent), teenagers (23.8 percent), whites(8.6 percent), blacks (14.5 percent), and Hispanics (12.3 percent)were little changed in July. The unemployment rate for Asians was 8.3percent, not seasonally adjusted. (See tables A-1, A-2, and A-3.)

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) rose by 584,000 over the month to 5.0 million. In July, 1 in 3 unemployed persons were jobless for 27 weeks or more. (See table A-9.)

The civilian labor force participation rate declined by 0.2 percentage point in July to 65.5 percent. The employment-population ratio, at 59.4percent, was little changed over the month but has declined by 3.3 percentage points since the recession began in December 2007. (See table A-1.)

The number of persons working part time for economic reasons (sometimesreferred to as involuntary part-time workers) was little changed in July at 8.8 million. The number of such workers rose sharply in the fall and winter but has been little changed for 4 consecutive months. (See table A-5.)

About 2.3 million persons were marginally attached to the labor forcein July, 709,000 more than a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) These individuals, who were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work and had looked for a job sometime in theprior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey. (Seetable A-13.)

Among the marginally attached, there were 796,000 discouraged workers in July, up by 335,000 over the past 12 months. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them.

The other 1.5 million persons marginally attached to the labor force in July had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities.



Fiscal Year 2009
A Congressional Budget Office Analysis

Based on the Monthly Treasury Statement for June and the Daily Treasury Statements for July

August 6, 2009

The federal budget deficit for the first 10 months of fiscal year 2009 reached $1.3 trillion, CBO estimates, close to $880 billion greater than the deficit recorded through July 2008. Outlays rose by almost $530 billion (or 21 percent) and revenues fell by more than $350 billion (or 17 percent) compared with the amounts recorded during the same period last year.

The estimated deficit reflects outlays of $169 billion for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), recorded on a net-present-value basis adjusted for market risk. It also includes net cash payments of $83 billion in support of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, although CBO believes that those two entities should be considered federal operations and that the full scope of their activities should be incorporated in the budget in a manner similar to the TARP.

CBO estimates that spending increases and revenue reductions stemming from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) have totaled more than $125 billion so far this year (excluding the impact on the budget from the effects that the legislation has had on the economy).


The Treasury reported a deficit of $94 billion for June, about $2 billion lower than CBO’s estimate for that month, which was based on the Daily Treasury Statements. The difference occurred primarily because outlays for defense and housing programs were lower than expected.

ESTIMATES FOR JULY (Billions of dollars)

—————————–Actual FY2008——Preliminary FY2009—-Estimated Change

Receipts                                      160                                     152                                    -8
Outlays                                        263                                     334                                    71
Deficit (-)                                   -103                                   -181                                   -79

Sources: Department of the Treasury; CBO.

The federal government recorded a deficit of $181 billion in July, CBO estimates, $79 billion greater than the deficit recorded in the same month last year. According to CBO’s estimates, receipts were about $8 billion (or 5 percent) lower in July 2009 than they were in July 2008, marking the 15th consecutive month in which receipts were lower than those in the same month of the previous year.

Withholding for income and payroll taxes was about $11 billion (or 8 percent) less than that in July 2008, CBO estimates; about half of that decline resulted from provisions in ARRA, primarily the Making Work Pay tax credit. The decline would have been larger if not for the effects of the calendar (July had one additional business day this year). Refunds in that month were about $11 billion less than they were in July 2008, primarily because of the rebates paid in July of last year pursuant to the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008.

Lower refunds partly offset the decline in other receipts. Corporate income tax receipts continue to show weakness, with a decline of about $7 billion from July 2008. Outlays were $71 billion higher this July than in the same month last year because of growth in spending and the effects of the calendar. August 1, 2009, fell on a weekend, which shifted about $24 billion in outlays from August to July.

Without that timing shift, the growth in outlays this July would have totaled $46 billion (or about 18 percent). TARP spending of $22 billion was the largest contributing factor to that increase. In addition, unemployment benefits and Medicaid outlays rose by $8 billion and $5 billion, respectively, boosted by stimulus spending from ARRA. Adjusted for timing shifts, Medicare and Social Security outlays increased by $6 billion and $5 billion, respectively, compared with last July.

BUDGET TOTALS THROUGH JULY (Billions of dollars)

Actual FY2008 — Preliminary FY2009 –  Estimated Change

Receipts                                                        2,094                            1,741                                 -353
Outlays                                                          2,483                            3,009                                  526
Deficit (-)                                                      -389                             -1,268                                  -879

Sources: Department of the Treasury; CBO.

CBO estimates that the federal government incurred a deficit of $1.3 trillion in the first 10 months of fiscal year 2009. Outlays were $526 billion greater than those in the October-July period last year, while revenues have fallen by $353 billion.

RECEIPTS THROUGH JULY (Billions of dollars)


——Major Source—– FY2008 — FY2009 — Change

Individual Income           944               751             -20.4
Corporate Income            247               106             -57.3
Social Insurance                758               754            -0.6
Other                                      145                130             -10.2
Total                                   2,094             1,741            -16.9

Sources: Department of the Treasury; CBO.

Total receipts for the first 10 months of fiscal year 2009 were 17 percent lower than in the same period last year. Declining receipts from individual income and payroll taxes account for close to 60 percent of the overall decrease in receipts. Those collections are down by almost $200 billion (or 12 percent) in the first 10 months of the year, compared with collections in the first 10 months of 2008. Nonwithheld receipts of individual income and payroll taxes (consisting of final payments of 2008 taxes and quarterly estimated payments of 2008 and 2009 taxes) were down by about $123 billion (or 28 percent).

About three-fourths of that decline represents collections for tax year 2008, with the remainder resulting from lower estimated payments of 2009 taxes. Although recent legislation has had some impact on those receipts, most of the shortfall probably resulted from the effects of the recession on nonwage income, such as capital gains, dividends, and earnings of noncorporate businesses.

Refunds were about $17 billion (or 6 percent) lower than in the same period last year but would have risen if not for the $61 billion in rebates paid through July of last year. Withholding of income and payroll taxes fell by about $89 billion (or 6 percent) compared with receipts in the same period of 2008, primarily because of the ongoing effects of the recession on wages and salaries and lower effective tax rates on that income. CBO estimates that about one-third of the decline is attributable to provisions in ARRA, primarily the Making Work Pay tax credit.

Receipts from corporate income taxes have declined sharply, falling by $141 billion (or 57 percent). Continued weakness in corporate profits, recently enacted legislation (most notably provisions allowing more-rapid depreciation), and the ability of firms to use current-year losses to reduce tax liabilities from previous years all contributed to lower corporate receipts. Other tax receipts declined by about $15 billion (or 10 percent); almost half of that drop is attributable to lower receipts from the Federal Reserve, which primarily resulted from lower interest rates and losses on some assets acquired from Bear Stearns and American International Group (AIG).

OUTLAYS THROUGH JULY (Billions of dollars)

Major Category         FY2008 —    FY2009             Actual — Adjusted (a)
Defense—Military             491               531                       8.1                7.2
Social Security Benefits 504              546                       8.4                8.4
Medicare(b)                       321               370                      15.0            11.0
Medicaid                             169               209                       23.7            23.7
Benefits                               37                    96                        161.2            161.2
Other Activities              746                842                         12.8               11.9
Subtotal                          2,269            2,594                         14.3              13.3
Net Interest on the
Public Debt                      214                  162                        -24.1              -24.1
TARP                                     0                    169                          n.a.                  n.a.
Payments to GSEs            0                      83                          n.a.                  n.a.
Total                               2,483                 3,009                     21.2                20.2

Sources: Department of the Treasury; CBO.

Notes: TARP = Troubled Asset Relief Program; n.a. = not applicable;
GSE = government-sponsored enterprise.

a. Excludes the effects of payments that were shifted because of weekends or holidays.
b. Medicare outlays are net of proprietary receipts.

Outlays topped $3.0 trillion for the first 10 months of the fiscal year, growing by 21 percent compared with outlays through July of last year—or if the estimate is adjusted to reflect the shifts in payment dates, by 20 percent. Payments for the TARP and net cash disbursements for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac account for nearly half (or $252 billion) of the increase over last year. Spending for unemployment benefits is more than 2½ times what was spent in the first 10 months of 2008 because of higher unemployment and legislation that increased the amount and duration of benefits. Federal spending for health care has also grown rapidly. Medicaid spending grew by 24 percent, largely because of a provision in ARRA that temporarily increases the share of Medicaid costs paid for by the federal government. Adjusting for shifts in payment dates, Medicare spending was up by 11 percent.

If adjusted to reflect timing shifts, spending for the category “other activities” grew by 12 percent. About one-third of the increase in outlays stemmed from provisions in ARRA, particularly those affecting spending for Social Security beneficiaries, the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund, and food and nutrition programs. That growth also reflects higher spending for a wide range of programs, as well as lower earnings credited to certain government funds. By contrast, net outlays for interest on the public debt have declined by 24 percent, mainly because of lower short-term interest rates and lower costs for inflation-indexed securities.

Note: Unless otherwise indicated, the figures in this report include the Social Security trust funds and the Postal Service fund, which are off-budget. Numbers may not add up to totals because of rounding.

Prepared by Barbara Edwards, Daniel Hoople, Joshua Shakin, and Camille Woodland. This Monthly Budget Review and other CBO publications are available at http://www.cbo.gov.