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Kathryn Zickuhr, Carmen Sanchez Cumming



Articles by Kathryn Zickuhr, Carmen Sanchez Cumming

October U.S. Jobs report: Employment growth picked up steam last month

November 5, 2021

Job gains in the U.S. labor market picked up in October, according to the latest Employment Situation Summary released today by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Between mid-September and mid-October a total of 531,000 jobs were added to U.S. economy as COVID-19 cases declined after surging in the late summer, compared with the 483,000 jobs added in August and the 312,000 jobs added in September. In addition, the agency made substantial revisions to its August and September employment estimates, increasing the 3-month average job gains to 442,000; without the revisions that average number would have been of just over 363,000 jobs.

A key measure for the labor market, the prime-age employment-to-population ratio, or the share of 25- to 54-year-olds who have a job, rose from 78

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Equitable Growth’s Jobs Day Graphs: October 2021 Report Edition

November 5, 2021

On November 5th, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released new data on the U.S. labor market during the month of October. Below are five graphs compiled by Equitable Growth staff highlighting important trends in the data.

Total nonfarm employment rose by 531,000 in October, and the prime-age employment rate for prime-age workers rose to 78.3 percent.

The unemployment rate declined to 4.6 percent in October, remaining higher for Black workers (7.9 percent) and Latinx workers (5.9 percent) compared with White workers (4.0 percent) and Asian workers (4.2 percent).

Unemployment rates are markedly higher for workers with lower levels of education, at 7.4 percent for those with less than a high school degree and 5.4 percent for high school graduates. The

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JOLTS Day Graphs: August 2021 Edition

October 12, 2021

Every month the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics releases data on hiring, firing, and other labor market flows from the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, better known as JOLTS. Today, the BLS released the latest data for August 2021. This report doesn’t get as much attention as the monthly Employment Situation Report, but it contains useful information about the state of the U.S. labor market. Below are a few key graphs using data from the report.

The quits rate rose to 2.9 percent as nearly 4.3 million workers quit their jobs in August, while the job openings rate decreased to 6.6 percent.

The vacancy yield declined slightly in August, remaining very low with job openings at 10.4 million—down 659,000 after a series high in July.

Job openings

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Equitable Growth’s Jobs Day Graphs: August 2021 Report Edition

September 3, 2021

On September 3, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released new data on the U.S. labor market during the month of August. Below are five graphs compiled by Equitable Growth staff highlighting important trends in the data.

The prime-age employment rate for prime-age workers increased slightly in August from 77.8 percent to 78.0 percent, but remains below pre-recession levels. 

The unemployment rate declined for White workers (4.5 percent) but did not change notably for Black workers (8.8 percent), the highest group, or for Latinx workers (6.4 percent) or Asian workers (4.6 percent).

The prime-age employment rate for both men and women rose in August, though neither rate has approached its level from immediately before the coronavirus recession. 

Top-line

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JOLTS Day Graphs: June 2021 Edition

August 9, 2021

Every month the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics releases data on hiring, firing, and other labor market flows from the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, better known as JOLTS. Today, the BLS released the latest data for June 2021. This report doesn’t get as much attention as the monthly Employment Situation Report, but it contains useful information about the state of the U.S. labor market. Below are a few key graphs using data from the report.

The quits rate rose to 2.7 percent in June as 3.9 million workers quit their jobs.

The vacancy yield increased slightly in June but remained low, as job openings reached a series high of 10.1 million and hires rose to 6.7 million.

The job openings rate increased to 6.5 percent in June, with job openings

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July Jobs report: Job growth ramps up, but the construction sector struggles

August 6, 2021

The recovery in the labor market continued to pick-up steam as the U.S. economy added 943,000 jobs last month, according to the most recent Employment Situation Summary released today by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. The unemployment rate fell from 5.9 percent in June to 5.4 percent in July and the share of the U.S. population ages 25 to 54 with a job—a measure known as the prime-age employment-to-population ratio—climbed from 77.2 percent to 77.8 percent.

These indicators reflect that last month was a very strong one for the U.S. economy, yet the labor market has not fully recovered and millions of workers continue to experience the economic pain brought about by the coronavirus pandemic. The prime-age employment-to-population ratio, for instance,

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June jobs report: What the coronavirus recession means for foreign-born workers in the United States

July 2, 2021

June was a month of strong employment gains. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ latest Employment Situation Summary, the economy added 850,000 jobs between mid-May and mid-June, well above the average month-to-month growth of 540,000 jobs of the previous 3 months. The prime-age employment-to-population ratio, a measure that captures the share of U.S. adults between the ages of 25 and 54 who are employed, increased slightly from 77.1 percent to 77.2 percent.

Amid a strong report, however, the overall unemployment rate actually rose slightly from 5.8 percent in May to 5.9 percent in June, led by reentrants to the labor force and workers leaving their jobs. At 61.4 percent, the labor force participation rate is just 0.2 percentage points above where it was at this

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Equitable Growth’s Jobs Day Graphs: August 2020 Report Edition

September 4, 2020

On September 4th, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released new data on the U.S. labor market during the month of August. Below are five graphs compiled by Equitable Growth staff highlighting important trends in the data.

While still well below its pre-coronavirus level, the employment rate for prime-age workers rose to 75.3% in August, having regained half of the losses since its low in April.

Unemployment rates remain highest for Black workers at 13.0%. Latinx unemployment fell to 10.5%, just below the Asian American unemployment rate of 10.7%. White unemployment declined to 7.3%.

While unemployment rates continue to decline for all education levels, the unemployment rate for workers with less than a high school education is still more than twice as high

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Labor Day: Labor standards and institutional support for collective action are essential for an equitable U.S. economy

September 4, 2020

Franklin Roosevelt signs the Wagner-Peyser Bill creating the US Employment Service, June 6, 1933.The landmark U.S. labor laws enacted in the early to mid-20th century continue to represent the main legal structures governing employment relations in the United States. These laws were critical to the advancement of workers for much of the past century, but they weakened over time and must be updated and expanded to create a fair and inclusive economy for workers today and in the future.

The National Labor Relations Act of 1935, also known as the Wagner Act, encoded private-sector workers’ rights to join and form unions, bargain collectively with their employers, and participate in joint actions such as strikes. A few years later, the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 outlawed most

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