By Wolf Richter
Labor Department today: People on state & federal unemployment insurance jumped to 31.5 million, worst ever.
Bureau of Labor Statistics today: 4.8 million jobs created, unemployment dropped by 3.2 million.
BLS under-reported unemployment by 13.7 million, based on data from the Labor Department. What’s happening is infuriating. Read and cringe.
Normally, the jobs report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics is released on the first Friday of the month. And the unemployment claims report is released Thursday every week. But this month, the monthly jobs report was also released today because of the 4th of July weekend. And now we have this delicious situation of both reports on the same day, with the Labor Department’s unemployment insurance data – people who are actually receiving unemployment benefits under state and federal programs – calling the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ survey-based report a liar. And we’ll go through them.
What the Labor Department reported today:
The total number of people who continued to receive unemployment compensation in the week ended June 27 under all state and federal unemployment insurance programs, including gig workers, surged by 937,810 people in the week, to 31.49 million (not seasonally adjusted), the highest and worst and most gut-wrenching ever:
The number of people receiving state unemployment insurance (blue columns in the chart above) has essentially been flat for three weeks (it ticked up this week), as many people got their jobs back while many other people were newly laid off. But the number of people on federal unemployment programs, including gig workers (red columns), has been soaring.
What the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today:
Incredibly, given the record number of unemployment insurance recipients, the Bureau of Labor Statistics dared to claim that the number of unemployed fell by 3.2 million in June, to 17.8 million, after having already, incredibly, fallen by 2.1 million in May, making it a 5.3 million decline over two months. The BLS claims to have obtained these numbers through its surveys of households.
Given that a record 31.5 million people were actually receiving state and federal unemployment insurance benefits in the latest week and that this record number of people were actually unemployed, as per the Labor Department, the BLS is now under-reporting unemployment by at least 13.7 million people (31.5 million minus 17.8 million). What a sad joke:
In the same vein of nonsense, the BLS, based on surveys of employers, reported this morning that the number of jobs jumped by 4.8 million in June, despite continued announcements of mass layoffs, after having already jumped by 2.7 million in May, for a total of 7.5 million jobs added on net since the April low. Meaning that even as millions of people get laid off every month, many more millions of people are getting their jobs back or are getting new jobs, according to the BLS.
This flies in the face of the record 31.5 million people now receiving unemployment insurance under state and federal programs.
The Labor Department’s details:
Meanwhile, the number of newly laid-off people who filed their initial unemployment claims with state unemployment offices in the week ended June 27 was 1.427 million initial claims (not seasonally adjusted), down a tad from last week but up a tad from two weeks ago. This is the weekly influx of the newly unemployed that filed for state unemployment insurance.
This influx of newly unemployed under state programs has now been in the same range for the third week in a row without further improvement. Thus, the layoffs have continued with the same ferocity – over twice the maximum magnitude during the unemployment crises in 1982 and 2009 – for the last three weeks:
The number of people who continue to claim unemployment insurance after having filed their initial claim under state programs at least a week ago – the “insured unemployed” – rose by 266,351 people to 17.92 million in the current week.
This surge of 266,351 additional “continued claims” under state programs indicates that more people are getting laid off and are being added to the “insured unemployed” than were called back to work. These people are represented by the blue columns in the first chart above.
Plus, people who receive federal unemployment insurance.
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), which covers gig workers: 839,563 initial claims were processed by 47 states in the week ending June 27.
Three states still have not figured out how to process these federal PUA claims, thus still stiffing their gig workers. But this is down from four states last week: Georgia, New Hampshire, and West Virginia are the remaining holdouts. Florida has finally figured out how to do this and has processed its first batch of PUA claims this week (28,380).
In total, 12.85 million gig workers continued to receive unemployment compensation under the PUA program, up by 1.79 million from a week earlier. Gig workers now account for 41% of all the people on state and federal unemployment rolls.
Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), covering those who have exhausted all rights to regular state and federal unemployment insurance: Total continued claims fell to 749,703. But 13 states have not yet processed any claims under the PEUC program, including, Florida.
Other federal unemployment programs include claims by federal employees (ticked down to 14,645 continued claims) and Newly Discharged Veterans (ticked up to 12,637 continued claims).
These unemployed under all federal programs combined, and under some other programs, are depicted by the red columns in the first chart above.
Official Data Chaos: BLS outdoes itself with its BS
So now, the Department of Labor reported this morning that the total number of people on unemployment insurance under all state and federal unemployment programs, including gig workers, surged by 937,810 people to a record 31.5 million.
At the same time, the Bureau of Labor Statistics wanted to make us believe by hook or crook that the number of unemployed people fell by 3.2 million in June, to 17.8 million.
The difference between those actually receiving unemployment insurance (31.5 million people) and those that the BLS claims are unemployed has today exploded to 13.7 million. In other words, the BLS has under-reported the number of unemployed by at least 13.7 million people.
No one knows how many jobs were created on net, but it wasn’t 4.8 million as the BLS tried to make us believe, or even a smaller positive number, but a negative number, with more jobs being shed on net, because the number of people still receiving unemployment insurance since the end of May has surged by 1.3 million people, according to the Labor Department.
The BLS has thereby outdone itself in generating BS. I don’t know whether it is under political pressure to produce this BS or whether it is just incompetent with much of its staff not working properly due to the pandemic. Whatever the cause, the BLS has lost all remaining credibility with this report and has totally fallen off the deep end.
Of course, the dire unemployment data released today by the Department of Labor got practically no air time. And the BLS’s fake BS trumped, so to speak, all news coverage.
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