Political  Calculations

Let's get all the good news for jobs in the U.S. in March 2012 out of the way first, shall we? Here it is, in bullet point format:

  • The U.S.' official unemployment rate fell by 0.1% from the previous month to 8.2% in March 2012.
  • The number of individuals Age 25 or older recorded by the BLS has having jobs in March 2012 increased by 29,000 from February 2012, reaching a total of 124,328,000, the highest level recorded since December 2008.
  • If we look at the employer survey portion of the report, the net increase in manufacturing jobs over the previous month was 37,000, the largest recorded since 1984 (HT: Mark Perry), accounting for nearly 31% of the net increase of 120,000 payroll jobs.

That's pretty much all the good news in the March 2012 report. Let's look next at the household survey portion of the report to get a sense of the rest of the story, beginning with the breakdown of how the various age groups we regularly track are faring.

Change in Number of Employed by Age Group Since Total Employment Peaked in November 2007, through March 2012

We see in our chart showing how the number of teens (Age 16-19), young adults (Age 20-24) and adults (Age 25 and older) in the U.S. workforce has changed since the total level of employment in the United States peaked in November 2007 just ahead of the most recent recession, that both the number of teens and young adults fell during March 2012, more than offsetting the gains of U.S. adults.


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