October 5, 2012

September 2012 Unemployment Report

September 2012

Unemployment Rate:           7.8 percent

Unemployed Americans:     12.1 million

“Real” Unemployment    

  • The “real” unemployment or U-6 rate is 14.7 percent for September 2012, which is unchanged from August. This is the total percentage of unemployed workers, plus marginally attached workers and people who are working part time for economic reasons.
  • The “real” number of unemployed Americans is 23.2 million, an increase of 100,000 from August. These are people who are unemployed (12.1 million), want work but have stopped searching for a job (2.5 million), or are working part time because they can’t find full time employment (8.6 million). This latest report shows an increase of nearly 600,000 part-time jobs for people who want to work full-time.

Labor Force Participation    

  • The labor force participation rate is 63.6 percent, which is an increase of 0.1 percent from August and is the lowest rate in 31 years. If the labor force participation rate were the same as when the President took office, the unemployment rate would be 10.7 percent.


  • The Department of Labor reported an unemployment rate of 7.8 percent for September 2012, which is a decrease of 0.3 percent from August, and an increase of 114,000 nonfarm jobs.
  • The economy has lost 61,000 net jobs since February 2009 when the Democrats’ “stimulus” was signed into law. President Obama promised an unemployment rate of 5.6 percent by this time.
  • The Department of Labor revised total nonfarm jobs for July and August up 86,000. The July numbers were revised up from +141,000 to +181,000. The August numbers were revised up from +96,000 to +142,000.

Weeks, Hours & Wages

  • The number of Americans searching for work for more than 27 weeks is 4.8 million. The average number of weeks a worker is unemployed is 39.8 weeks, double from when President Obama took office.
  • The average workweek for private nonfarm employees is 34.5 hours.
  • The average hourly private nonfarm payroll increased by 7 cents to $23.58. Year over year hourly earnings have risen just 1.8 percent.

Issue Tags: Economy, Labor