With the unemployment rate ticking up to 7.9% today, many are questioning if the recovery in the labor market has begun to fizzle out. The principal driver of the increase in Unemployment this month was the delta between the change in the employed and the change in the unemployed. Total employed increased 17,000 sequentially while the total unemployed increased 126k sequentially.
The hallmark of both the downturn & the recovery was the contrast between the extreme job loss among younger cohorts and the relative employment stability among older workers (employment for 55-64 yr. olds never went negative through the great recession). Interestingly enough, the 20-45 age group has begun to improve recently and the 25-34 year old group is continuing to accelerate.
Part-time employment (household survey) decreased for a third straight month and posted its first negative growth month since December 11th. Temp employment growth (establishment survey) followed the same trajectory, decelerating 1.6% sequentially.
Lastly, it’s important to note that after a four year run of negative growth, state & local employment is now approaching the zero line and likely to go positive in 2013.