Ever more unemployment

By Felix Salmon
May 8, 2009
As you can see, as recently as February, adult men were no more likely to be unemployed than the population as a whole. ... But with adult-male unemployment rapidly approaching 10%, it's also going to be a serious drag on the economy for the foreseeable future: households with unemployed men are not exactly engines of economic recovery. " data-share-img="" data-share="twitter,facebook,linkedin,reddit,google" data-share-count="true">

I knew this morning’s jobs report was going to be depressing — and with unemployment rising from 8.5% to 8.9% last month, I was right. But the unemployment rate among adult men is even worse. Here’s the relevant bit of the release:

unemployment.jpg

As you can see, as recently as February, adult men were no more likely to be unemployed than the population as a whole. In the past couple of months, however, a nasty gap has opened up, and it’s widening.

Yes, unemployment is a lagging indicator. But with adult-male unemployment rapidly approaching 10%, it’s also going to be a serious drag on the economy for the foreseeable future: households with unemployed men are not exactly engines of economic recovery.

Incidentally, the other unemployment measure worth keeping an eye on, U6, a broader measure of underemployment, hit 15.8% last month, up from 13.5% in December. So while the headline payrolls number might have fallen less than economists had expected, I can’t really see any green shoots here.

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