December & 2012 employment

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Some decent news this morning about the U.S. employment situation from the BLS. Nonfarm payroll employment was up by 155,000 and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 7.8%. This was slightly below what economists had estimated (160,000 jobs and a 7.7% unemployment rate). The other piece of decent news was that November's job number was revised upwards.

And the number of involuntary underemployed (part time for economic reasons) fell slightly. But, as the charts below show, both the total number of involuntary underemployment and the percentage of involuntary underemployed remains at historically high levels. Is this the new normal? If so, it is a waste of human capital.

Involuntary underemployed 1955-2012.png

Percentage Involuntary underemployed 1955-2012.png

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