September 7, 2012

August 2012 Unemployment Report


August 2012

Unemployment Rate: 8.1 percent

Unemployed Americans: 12.5 million



  • The Department of Labor reported an unemployment rate of 8.1 percent for August 2012, which is a decrease of 0.2 percent from July, and an increase of 96,000 nonfarm jobs.
  • Most of the new jobs were in food services, professional and technical services, healthcare, utilities, finance and insurance, and wholesale trade.
  • This makes 43 straight months under President Obama with unemployment over 8 percent.
  • The economy lost 261,000 net jobs since February 2009 when the Democrats’ “stimulus” was signed into law. President Obama promised an unemployment rate below 6 percent by this time.
  • The Department of Labor revised the change in the total nonfarm payroll employment numbers for June and July. The June numbers were revised down from +64,000 to +45,000. The July numbers were also revised down from +163,000 to +141,000.

“Real” Unemployment

  • The “real” unemployment or U-6 rate is 14.7 percent for August 2012, which is an decrease of 0.3 percent from July. This is the total percentage of unemployed workers, plus the marginally attached workers and part time workers for economic reasons.
  • The “real” number of unemployed Americans is 23.1 million. These are people that are unemployed (12.5 million), want work but have stopped searching for a job (2.6 million), or are working part-time because they can’t find full-time employment (8.0 million).
  • The labor force participation rate is 63.5 percent, which is a decrease of 0.2 percent from July and is the lowest rate in 31 years. At the Congressional Budget Office projected labor participation rate of 65.3 percent for 2012, the unemployment rate would be 11.9 percent.

Labor Force Participation Rate

workforce participatio rates

Weeks, Hours & Wages

  • The number of Americans searching for work for more than 27 weeks is 5.0 million. The average number of weeks a worker is unemployed is 39.2 weeks.
  • The average workweek for private nonfarm employees decreased 0.1 hours to 34.4 hours.
  • The average hourly private nonfarm payroll decreased by 1 cent to $23.52.

Issue Tags: Economy, Labor