2013 Job Market Perspectives-Report

What a difference a year makes.

Things are improving though be it ever so slowly and projections for unemployment is expected to decrease in 2013 according to recent reports from the Bureau of Labor Statistics www.bls.gov.

Wages and salaries rose 0.3 percent and benefit costs rose 0.6 percent for civilian workers, seasonally adjusted, from September to December 2012. Over the year, compensation rose 1.9 percent, wages and salaries 1.7 percent, and benefits 2.5 percent.

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 157,000 in January, and the unemployment rate was essentially unchanged at 7.9 percent. Retail trade, construction, health care, and wholesale trade added jobs over the month.

The number of unemployed persons, at 12.3 million, was little changed in January. The unemployment rate was 7.9 percent and has been at or near that level since September 2012.

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men 7.3 percent), adult women (7.3 percent), teenagers (23.4 percent), whites (7.0 percent), blacks (13.8 percent), and Hispanics (9.7 percent) showed little or no change in January. The jobless rate for Asians was 6.5 percent (not seasonally adjusted), little changed from a year earlier.

In January, the number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was about unchanged at 4.7 million and accounted for 38.1 percent of the unemployed. Both the employment-population ratio (58.6 percent) and the civilian labor force participation rate (63.6 percent) were unchanged in January.

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons, at 8.0 million, changed little in January. These individuals were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job.

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.

“The economy has now added private sector jobs for 35 straight months, and a total of 6.1 million jobs have been added over that period,” said Alan Krueger, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers. “In 2012, private businesses added 2.2 million payroll jobs.”

“The Employment Situation – January 2013” report also included benchmark revisions, an annual practice. As a result, 335,000 more jobs were created in 2012 than originally reported.

Unemployment has decreased and individual incomes have risen, another positive indicator of economic progress. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics and Department of Commerce published similar findings, as Americans’ personal income increased by 2.6 percent in December – the largest monthly upsurge in revenue since December 2004.

However, over 12 million Americans are currently without work. Almost 5 million Americans have been unemployed for more than 27 weeks. The national unemployment rate rose slightly last month, from 7.8 to 7.9 percent.

Economist and Analyst estimate that in order to significantly lower the jobless rate, roughly 250,000 new jobs must be created monthly.

Although such robust job creation is unlikely in 2013, employment did rise in recent months, as 603,000 new jobs were created to the economy last quarter, according to published revisions.

Analysts predict that if job creation and economic growth continues on its current trajectory, the gross number of jobless Americans will decrease to below 9.9 million by the end of 2013 respectively.