Posted February 6, 2013 | No Comments

Veteran Employment Situation Report for January 2013 Issue 13-02 Friday, February 1, 2013

Veteran Employment Situation Report for January 2013 Issue 13-02 Friday, February 1, 2013 issued by

Welcome to the VetJobs Veteran Employment Situation Report covering December 2012. This is the second year of this report. We are pleased to note that some government agencies and other organizations are also starting to provide special reports on veteran unemployment, frequently copying the VetJobs VESR. We are glad more people are looking at this issue.

This report is in three parts. The first will summarize the Department of Labor’s (DOL) Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report on the labor market, the second covers where the jobs were created, meaning at what type of jobs one would have the best chance of finding employment. The third covers the employment situation in the veteran market.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * EMPLOYMENT SUMMARY

At VetJobs we see the overall employment situation as not improving and the economy is stagnant. The fact that the economy contracted in the fourth quarter by .1% means there are fewer jobs. If this trend continues, we will be in trouble.

BLS reports total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 157,000 in January which is lower than the 196,000 growth in December. The unemployment rate was increased to 7.9%. A larger increase was expected by economists due to the new taxes, the Affordable Care Act and new EPA regulations that hinder companies. Of note, DOL/BLS reports that 159,000 people dropped out of the labor market which helped keep the unemployment rate at a marginal increase, but it also means we had a net loss of 2,000 jobs. While not a true apples-to-apples job comparison, the trend is not good. BLS reports that over the last four years the economy has lost 8.5 million jobs. That is a massive contraction and cannot be construed as a recovery.

According to the BLS, retail trade, construction, health care, and wholesale trade added jobs over the month.

Household Survey Data

The number of unemployed persons, at 12.3 million, was little changed in January which is of concern. If the unemployment rate is rising but the number of persons in the workforce remains the same, it indicates more people are unemployed and the economy is stagnant or contracting, which is reflected in the .1% decline which took place in the 4th quarter of 2012.

The unemployment rate rose to 7.9% and has been at or near that level since September 2012.

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (7.3%), adult women (7.3%), teenagers (23.4%), whites (7.0%), blacks (13.8%), and Hispanics (9.7%) showed little or no change in January. The jobless rate for Asians was 6.5% (not seasonally adjusted), little changed from a year earlier. The high teen unemployment rate may be indicative of adults taking jobs that would normally be held by teens.

In January, the number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was unchanged at 4.7 million and accounted for 38.1% of the unemployed.

Both the employment-population ratio (58.6%) and the civilian labor force participation rate (63.6%) were unchanged in January. With a rising unemployment rate, this is not good. To quote the noted economist Bruce Steinberg:

By now the news of the 0.1 percent decline in GDP in Q4 2012 is old. But we feel it’s important to point out that: -That is the “advance” estimate and is based upon preliminary and incomplete data. When the second estimate is published at the end of this month, we should get a better picture. -Much of the decline is attributed to reductions in defense spending and also a downturn in what is labeled as private inventories investment (companies not restocking goods), which was driven, to a large extent, by the impasse in Washington. So blaming politicians for the Q4 2012 economic decline is not entirely wrong; actually, it’s probably more right than wrong. Also, the severe weather played a part in reducing the amount of economic activity for the quarter.

-Most other economic developments — employment, consumer spending, and business investment (final sales of computers, which is officially in a different category than consumer spending, added 0.15 percentage point to Q4 GDP) — remain positive for further economic growth (Source:  Bruce Steinberg U.S. Employment Situation – January 2013)   In January, 2.4 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, down by 366,000 from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey.

Among the marginally attached, there were 804,000 discouraged workers in January, a decline of 255,000 from a year earlier. (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 remaining 1.6 million persons marginally attached to the labor force in January had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * WHERE THE NEW JOBS WERE CREATED

For those people looking for work, the following paragraphs from BLS will give an idea of where new jobs were created.

According to the BLS, retail trade, construction, health care, and wholesale trade added jobs over the month.

Employment in retail trade rose by 33,000 in January, compared with an average monthly gain of 20,000 in 2012. Within the industry, job growth continued in January in motor vehicle and parts dealers (+7,000), electronics and appliance stores (+5,000), and clothing stores (+10,000).

In January, employment in construction increased by 28,000. Nearly all of the job growth occurred in specialty trade contractors (+26,000), with the gain about equally split between residential and nonresidential specialty trade contractors. Since reaching a low in January 2011, construction employment has grown by 296,000, with one-third of the gain occurring in the last 4 months. However, the January 2013 level of construction employment remained about 2 million below its previous peak level in April 2006.

Health care continued to add jobs in January (+23,000). Within health care, job growth occurred in ambulatory health care services (+28,000), which includes doctors’ offices and outpatient care centers. This gain was partially offset by a loss of 8,000 jobs in nursing and residential care facilities. Over the year, health care employment has increased by 320,000.

Employment increased in wholesale trade (+15,000) in January, with most of the increase occurring in its nondurable goods component (+11,000). Since the recent low point in May 2010, wholesale trade has added 291,000 jobs.

Mining employment increased (+6,000) over the month; employment in this industry has risen by 23,000 over the past 3 months.

(Source: BLS Employment Situation, January 2013)

The good news here is that while the economy is stagnant, companies are still hiring and they prefer to hire veterans! This is indicated by the fact that the veteran unemployment rate is still lower than the national unemployment rate!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * VETERAN UNEMPLOYMENT REPORT

General Summary

The BLS CPS report says there were 21,534,000 veterans alive in January, up from 21,062,000 in December, a gain of 472,000 veterans in January. There were 11,032,000 veterans in the workforce in January, up from 10,806,000 in December. This is an increase of 226,000 veterans working in the United States from December to January.

The CPS overall veteran unemployment rate for all veterans in January rose to 7.8% from December’s 7.0%, an increase of .8%. There were 844,000 unemployed veterans in January, up 87,000 from the 757,000 unemployed veterans in December. Much of this increase is the return of National Guard and Army Reserve brigades.

In addition, this increase was expected as one reads of all the layoffs taking place due to the fiscal cliff negotiations, the debt ceiling fight, the very real problems of continued high unemployment, the Affordable Care Act, the deficit and payroll tax increases. There are regular press stories of companies now laying off employees for one of these reasons. Just this morning Smith & Nephew, a global medical technology company, announced it is laying off over 100 employees in Tennessee. The reason given was the new medical device tax. You can expect to see the unemployment rate to continue to rise over the next quarter due to taxes and the Affordable Care Act.

The fact that veterans as a class have an overall unemployment rate that is lower than the national unemployment rate continues to indicate that veterans are having better success finding employment than non-veterans.

Younger Veterans

An area where there has been a veteran unemployment issue over the last six years since the current call up policy was implemented in January 2007 has been in the 18 to 24 year old group and the 25 to 29 year old group.

The unemployment rate for the 18 to 24 year old veterans in January is 31.3% (51,000), an increase of 8.6% over the 22.7% (55,000) in December. Note however, that the total number of unemployed declined by 4,000, the 8.6% increase in accounted for in the reduction of the number of 18 to 24 year olds in this group.

Many of the 18 to 24 year old veterans are unemployed due to their participation in the National Guard and Reserve. The last Current Employment Index (CEI) from the National Guard Bureau indicated that nearly 21% of the fifty four state Army National Guard units nationally are unemployed. Employers cannot run a business with their employees constantly being called up and taken away from the business.

The unemployment rate for the 25 to 29 year old veterans in January is 14.8% (83,000) an increase of 5.0% from December’s is 9.8% (54,000). Again, VetJobs estimates a major portion of the unemployment rate in this group is due to the National Guard and Reserve.

For comparison, the CPS overall unemployment rate for all 18 to 24 year olds (veterans and nonveterans) in January is 16.6% (3,175,000), and increase of 2.2% from December’s 14.4% (2,742,000).

Again, the overall veteran unemployment rate of 7.8% continues to reflect that the veterans as a group are having better success finding jobs than their civilian counterparts, which is not to say some are not having problems.

Employers continue to shy away from hiring as a new employee an active member of the NG&R due to the constant call-ups which will only increase with the continued reductions of the active duty forces. Employers cannot run their companies when their human capital is taken away for 12 months or more. But if the veteran is totally separated from the military, they are in high demand.

Women Veterans

The unemployment rate for women veterans in January is 8.8% (123,000). The unemployment rate for 18 to 24 year old women veterans is a disturbing 55.7% (24,000), an increase of 9.3% from December’s 46.4% (16,000).

Gulf War II Veterans

The unemployment rate for Gulf War II era veterans is 11.7% (252,000), an increase of of.9% over December’s 10.8% (226,000).

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