Saturday, December 14, 2013

Number of Persons Employed and Unemployed

Part three in a series that starts here.

I'm trying to back into numbers that other people calculate, so I can know what numbers they use to get the numbers they get.

From yesterday, I know the Civilian Labor Force (CLF16OV) is the number used to calculate the Labor Force Participation Rate. So I know CLF16OV is the right number to use to figure out how many people are working, and how many are looking for work.

I thought I'd use FRED's UNRATE to figure the "working" and "looking" numbers. When I saw the name of the series -- Civilian Unemployment Rate -- my confidence improved, because it's another "civilian" series. Probably in the right ballpark, I thought.

So I multiplied the Labor Force by the unemployment rate and divided the hundred out of it. That gave me a count of unemployed persons (or actually, thousands of unemployed persons).

But what to compare it to? I searched FRED a bit and found the bluntly-named series Unemployed (UNEMPLOY). I put it on the graph with my calculation. Another good match:

Graph #1: Calculating the Number of People Unemployed

After that, then, I could subtract the number of people unemployed from the Civilian Labor Force to get the number of people employed.

But -- again -- what to compare it to? How about Civilian Employment?

Graph #2: Calculating the Number of People Employed


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