Friday, September 6, 2013

Aug '13 Unemployed Statistics vs Healthcare Mandate

A few numbers just released from the BLS about the unemployed, this not the official unemployment rate but a breakdown of how the unemployed are counted by type of positions they held, so the numbers are not going to coincide exactly with the U4 statistics.

The total of all the unemployed in Aug '13 was 5,856,000 compared to 5,934,000 in July '13, which makes it 78,000 less unemployed workers in Aug compared to July. We can't really say that there were 78,000 more jobs because the 'unemployed' are a relative number depending on how you count the unemployed. This release doesn't state exactly how they do count the unemployed, but since they are working with the recently layed-off, I'm pretty confident that the long-tern unemployed are not counted in this release, I will be sticking with working with the unemployed numbers here, not employed.

Nevertheless there were about a 1.3% *less unemployed* from July to Aug of this year, compared to Aug '12 there were 964,000 less unemployed persons or about a 14.1% change.

To further break it down by temporary vs permanent positions...Aug '13 had 986,000 temporary unemployed compared to 1,337,000 in July '13 making it 351,000 less temporary unemployed persons, compared to 1,147,000 in Aug '12 for a change of 161,000 less.

As for permanent positions in Aug '13 there were 3,707,000 unemployed full time positions compared to July '13's 3,548,000 making it a gain of 159,000 full time unemployed persons. Aug '12 had 4,444,000 unemployed make a difference of 737,000 less full-time unemployed person compared to Aug '13.

Its easy to see that there has been a shift from less full time to more temporary *employed* positions in just the last month or so, most likely in preparations for the upcoming healthcare mandate...

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Bicycle Manufacturing - A bright spot of American manufacturing in an otherwise dim outlook.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently forecast that the manufacturing sector of the US economy is going to shed even more jobs into the foreseeable future, which for them is to the year 2020. While the manufacturing losses aren't expected to be big, on the order of several thousand jobs, compared to the millions of the last two decades. Nonetheless, the 'loss of growth' in this important sector is going to hamper the US's long term recovery.

One bright, albeit small spot in this area is bicycle manufacturing. According to the US Economic Census of 2002 there were only 36 American bicycle & bicycle part manufacturers here in the US, employing a little over 3,000 people who had added 465 million dollars the economy.

By 2007 the number of bicycle companies in the US had swelled to over 300, with the total employed at nearly 9,500 who had produced right at 1 billion dollars in goods. The data shows a trend towards more numerous but smaller companies, mostly individuals. The 2012 Economic Census data is not due to be released until 2014 and it will be interesting to see if this trend continues.

Bicycle 'manufacturing' did not show up in the BLS's forecast of the 2010-2020 top 30 occupations with the fastest job growth. Actually no manufacturing occupations did, but 'bicycle repairers' did, with a projected growth of 37% or about 3700 jobs.

For the record a BLS 'repairer' is described as one who 'installs, maintains, or repairs', so it's reasonable to assume that many, if not most of the BLS bicycle repairers are also included in the US Economic Census manufacturers data.

Apart from starting this blog, I also maintain a website dedicated strictly to American made products, and I am compiling a list of American bicycle companies with over 102 listed to date.