Federal data shows troubling unemployment, underemployment trends

Less than half of African-American men now have full-time jobs, and less than half of all white men will have full-time jobs in 2018, according to post-2000 trends hidden in federal population and workforce data.

There are roughly 14 million people formally labeled as unemployed, but “there’s probably 22 million to 23 million people who are unemployed, mal-employed or underemployed,” said Andrew Sum, an economics professor at Northeastern University in Boston.

The hidden data shows that “we’ve got an overwhelming job gap that effects men more than women, less-educated men more then better-educated men, and the group aged 25 to 29 the most,” he said.

One startling result, he said, is that only 43 percent of African-American men aged 18 to 29 have a full-time job.

This trend is obvious to T. Willard Fair, head of the Urban League of Greater Miami. He recently advertised two janitorial jobs via the unemployment office in his local town Liberty City. The city is 85 percent African-American, yet “only 2 of the 33 applicants were African-American,” he said. “The remainder were Hispanics or Haitians.”

(Jobless claims rise, trade gap narrows)

“People want to work, and if they can find jobs, they would take those jobs … [but] blacks are no longer even applying for those kinds of jobs, or have concluded they’re not going to get those jobs,” he said.

There’s recently been a run of bad news about unemployment trends. That’s damaged the White House’s poll ratings, but the federal government’s unemployment estimate — now 9.1 percent — counts only a portion of the nation’s non-working population. That’s because the 9.1 percent counts only people who have sought work in the last four weeks, and have failed to find employment of 35 hours or more per week.

The count obscures the fact that many people have unwillingly ended their participation in the workforce.

The “employment population ratio” is a standard economic term that describes the percentage of work-ready people people who do have jobs. It ignores people who can’t work because they are in prison, nursing homes or full-time education.

In practice, the ratio of working people can’t go much higher than 85 percent because some of the people who can work chose to retire, or to consume savings or to rely on government payments.

In 2000, the employment-population ratio for male, black university graduates reached a high of 81 percent, or 87 percent if the calculation included graduates working in part-time jobs. That full-employment came at the tail end of the bubble — which burst in 2001 — and before the midpoint of an immigration wave.

Polls indicate economy hurting Obama

At least 15 million legal and illegal immigrants, mostly young and unskilled, entered the country between 1994 and 2007.

Since 2000, for most groups, for most of the time, the employment population ratio has continuously fallen to levels far below 80 percent, even before the current recession, according to the government data that was analyzed and sent to TheDC by Northeastern’s Sum.

The full-time employment population ratio for white men fell from 62 percent in 2000 to 55 percent by 2010. That’s a drop of 7 percent in 10 years, or 0.7 percent a year. If that drop continues at the same rate, less than half of whites will be working by 2018.

If part-time workers are included, the ratio started at 74 percent in 2000 and fell to 67 percent in 2010.

Among all African-American men aged more than 16, the full-time ratio fell from 56.9 percent in 2000 to 46.4 percent in 2010. The inclusion of part-time work bumps the ratio upwards, but the ratio still fell from 67 percent to 58 percent in 2010.

Full-time employment ratio


  • Miroco

    I think anybody who knows anybody who plans to vote for Obama again deserves to have to beg on the street corner! The Bush malaise began to undermine MY country, the utter devastation wrought by the commie crowd has rendered us hard down if not out.We should use the dismembered bits of media members to beat college professors to a pulp. The only use for liberals is target Practice, they are all traitors.

  • baal

    I have to say it. We have 8-14 million fully employed illegal immigrants in this country.

    That tells me we can probably drop 8-14 million people from the welfare rolls.

    • Waxingeuphoric

      Honest question…
      You really think there are 8-14 million people on welfare waiting to bust out of their funk the second these illegals are sent packing?

      This is not a post for keeping illegals in the country to do the jobs “no one else will do”. I just don’t think welfare rolls and jobs held by illegals have anything to do with each other. No?

      • baal

        No, I don’t think they are waiting to bust out of their funk, I think they’ll only do so when the situation forces them to do so.
        I do beleive the two issues are connected. The illegals are here to work so they can get paid. They have no competition bc we’ve taken a large amount of people out of the labor pool. I say put them back in play. Yes, the transition will be hard for them.

        • Waxingeuphoric

          I’m still not convinced of the two issues being related but thank you for your reply

          • cmccartn

            he makes a decent point.
            if we have 8 million people who had to risk life and limb to come here to work $6-10 an hour jobs, then we shouldn’t also need to have 8 million of our own people on welfare, we should push the illegal immigrants out the door, and make those on welfare.. work!

  • Supernatural Witness

    Sounds like the writing is on the wall. Get skills that everyone else doesn’t have to make yourself valuable in the market place. Same thing my dad told me when I was– every day of my life at home.

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  • bandit

    Hope and change.

    spare change? spare change?

  • OldNavyChief

    If the benefits of being unemployed were not so generous, then maybe these non performers would get off of their duff and go to work.

  • nickel1951

    The root cause of the unemployment problem stems from the minimum wage law that the Democrats and their union supporters push to uneconomic heights. The reason that illegals are so much in demand that they are willing to move here from thousands of miles away and can get work in a country where they don’t even speak the language is that they are cheaper, undocumented and therefore don’t have to have the employer pay the cost of taxes, Social Security matches, healthcare benefits, unemployment insurance or the trouble of all the legal retape nvolved in hiring someone. This creates a very substantial barrior to hiring legal Blacks and Whites with low value added skills and little pertinent experience. And the unions and the Democrats love it because the minimum wage is written into most union contracts as the starting point or base of the labor rate paid to the unions. It is minimum wage plus so many dollars per hour in most cases and to raise the minimum wage might price millions of low skilled workers out of the job market but it hypes the union wages and thus the union dues and the resulting Democratic campaign contributions.

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  • Joe Steel

    @KGC who said at 10:21 AM 06/10/2011: “Wow, that wasn’t even a subtle dodge. You just latched right on to the last sentence (which didn’t even defend Reagan, just stated that you can say what you will about him) and completely avoided the meat of my comment.

    Saying what I want about Reagan and the other Free Marketeers who have devastated the American economy was pretty much the point of my first comment. You leaned into the punch.

    America is in trouble because of Conservative bungling of economic policy. Please note: I didn’t say Republican. I said Conservative because I’m willing to lay a good deal of blame at the feet of both Clinton and Carter, both of who were conservative Democrats. As you noted Clinton gets the blame for NAFTA, Carter for deregulating a number of industries. These were bad ideas for which we may blame Democrats as well as Republicans.

    • thephranc

      What exactly have conservatives done? I ask this but never get an honest answer. I know you are too economically illiterate to do so.

      The only bungling going on here is you every time you post. Your arguments are always blow away with these things called facts.

      • HoosYoDaddy

        Right on track as usual….it would be easy to defeat intellectually honest regressives with facts, if there were any! Your question brings to mind another that I often ask, but that never gets answered:

        Can you name one Obama promise that was kept, or policy, that was a success (ESPECIALLY when it comes to the economy)? If you are feeling REALLY confident (and misinformed), go for two!

        ” It is not that my liberal friends are ignorant; they just think they know so much that isn’t true.” RR

      • KGC

        It’s not so much that he’s “economically illiterate” (though I won’t argue that he’s not that, too), but that he’s intellectually dishonest to the point of being bankrupt.

        Look, here is the woof and the warp of what you need to know about “Joe Steel” (what a pathetically faux-proletarian handle) and those who place themselves on the Left of the political spectrum. They abide by this one simple irreducible ‘first principle’ — Ability should be subordinated, in perpetuity, to Need. It is the very foundation upon which the Collectivist stands, and without which he cannot stand. Ability (those who CAN) MUST be made to serve Need (those who WON’T).

        That’s all you need to know about this ilk. Everything they say comes from that fundamental premise. They are unrepentant egalitarians, sickened by the idea of elitism, by the idea of celebrating and rewarding the best and brightest among us, sickened by merit, sickened by the idea of judging others by the content of their character and the merit of their abilities rather than the color of their skin or the purity and rigidity of their ideology. It is the primary driver of their thinking, as has been so clearly and cleanly articulated by President Obama, when he says, “Truly, we are our brother’s keeper.” I’ll take him at his word that that is exactly what he believes and that that is exactly what his goal is as the primary purpose of his policy pursuits. And it’s the very nub of what makes “Joe Steel” make such moronic assertions that Jimmy Carter was a “conservative Democrat.”

        There is no point in arguing or exchanging fire with Collectivists, with Egalitarians. They cannot be reached.

        The only rational thing to do is defeat them. Completely. And every person who believes in and fights for the idea of the greatest amount of freedom and liberty for the Individual should stand in opposition to those who think otherwise. And clearly “Joe” is at the front of that sad, misguided parade.

        • TommyV

          KGC…… post I’ve read in years…….I even think you got to good ol’ Joe with that one….Joe….any response? I didn’t think so ;)!

          • KGC

            Well, thanks. I tend to ignore him/her/it, but occasionally one’s forced, out of a sense of decency, to respond.

  • Viper1938

    It is interesting to read the comments to this article. It does show that the readers of the Daily Caller are more informed, educated and intelligent based on the quality of the comments.

    First of all, there are many Blacks that are totally upset with what is going on under Obama. They are educated, hard working people who have to be careful what they say if they don’t want the uneducated Blacks on their backs.

    The Obama Administration is on a path to bring the U.S. down to a third world level. I would suggest that George Soros is pulling the Obama puppet strings, and he has openly stated the U.S. is in the way of creating what he calls “A New World Order.” The Progressives have been on this path for a long time and have slowly but surely gotten us to the point where it will probably take some sort of a major crisis to wake up the citizens of the country. Open borders and socialism will be the destruction of the country, it has never worked and it never will. One of the reasons why the Democrats don’t want immigration laws enforced is because the uneducated immigrants most always vote Democratic.

    One of the major problems in this country is the special interest groups. There are many Blacks, Hispanics, Somalis, etc. that have not integrated into the society. Non-integrated groups are not good diversity, they are destructive diversity. LARASA is a Hispanic organization that only wants more for the Hispanics, and they do not care about anyone else. The Black Panthers and NAACP are the same for the Blacks.

    It is time to wake up, kick ass and take names or the United States of America will be no more than an average country, the average of Mexico, Canada and the Untied States. That is exactly what NAFTA was created to accomplish.

    We have good, well educated Hispanics and Blacks in this country, however, they are at a significant disadvantage because of the attitude of their own race. We need to support them. We also need to clean house in Washington, DC.