September 2005, Vol. 128, No. 9
Labor month in review
Computers at work
Youths and summer work
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Labor month in review from past issues
The September Review
The flows of workers between labor market classifications are very useful data for understanding the economy. If there is a decline in the stock of unemployed workers, for example, analysts might make very different interpretations if they were to find out that the decline was caused by flows of workers from unemployed to not in the labor force, rather than from unemployed to employed.
The Bureau published such gross-flow estimates from the Current Population Survey between 1948 and 1952. However, these data were often difficult to reconcile with the actual changes in the stocks of workers in the various labor force classifications. Harley J. Frazis, Edwin L. Robison, Thomas D. Evans, and Martha A. Duff have devised an experimental method for making such a reconciliation as part of a longer term research effort to resume publication of gross-flow data.
Randy Ilg follows up on the work of Frazis and his colleagues by analyzing the gross-flow data that were the results of their work. Among his findings were that recent declines in employment were characterized more by increased flows out of employment rather than decreased in-flows and that the unemployment rate was driven more by changes in the rate of flow into joblessness rather than exits from unemployment.
Lester M. Salamon and S. Wojciech Sokolowski use data from the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) to examine the non-profit sector. A finding that uses the detailed industry classification possible in QCEW is that "non-profit wages, although generally lower than those of for-profit enterprises or government, actually equal or exceed for-profit wage rates in the industries in which both sectors were involved."
Richard Tiller and Marisa Di Natale report on research on model-based methods for seasonal adjustment of time series data from the Current Population Survey.
Rachel Krantz-Kent prepared a visual essay on time use at various stages of the life cycle.
Computers at work
In October 2003, about 77 million persons—55.5 percent of those employed—used a computer at work. About 2 of 5 employed individuals connected to the Internet or used e-mail while on the job. Women were more likely than men to use a computer and the Internet. Computer-use rates for women and men were 61.8 and 49.9 percent, respectively; the Internet-use rate for women was 45.1 percent, compared with 38.7 percent for men. The greater likelihood of women to use a computer at work is due largely to their concentration in occupations in which computer use is most prevalent.
The Internet was also used by some to look for a job. Slightly more than 1 in 10 individuals in the working-age population reported that they had used the Internet between January and October 2003 as part of their job search. Reading online ads or job listings was the most common Internet job-search method; it was used by more than 90 percent of online jobseekers. Researching potential employers was reported by 70.2 percent of Internet jobseekers, while 57.0 percent used the Internet to submit a resume or application. See "Computer and Internet Use at Work in 2003," USDL 05–1457, to learn more about how people use computers when working and when searching for a job.
Youths and summer work
The labor force participation rate for youth—the proportion of the population age 16 to 24 working or looking for work—was 66.6 percent in July 2005. The July participation rate for youth has been trending down since the early 1990s. The 2005 rate was the lowest for July since 1965. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.)
The proportion of 16- to 24-year-olds enrolled in school in July has grown over the last decade from 16.6 percent in July 1995 to 27.8 percent in July 2005. Only about half of the youth enrolled in school were in the labor force in July, compared with about three-fourths of those not in school.
Of youths aged 16 to 24 years in the labor force in July, 2.7 million were unemployed—not working but actively looking for work and available to take a job. The youth unemployment rate—11.0 percent—was down from 12.3 percent in July 2004. Find out more in "Employment and Unemployment Among Youth—Summer 2005," news release USDL 05–1565.
A total of 5,703 fatal work injuries were recorded in the United States in 2004, an increase of 2 percent from the revised total of 5,575 fatal work injuries reported for 2003. Despite the increase, the total for 2004 was the third lowest annual total recorded by the fatality census, which has been conducted each year since 1992. The rate at which fatal work injuries occurred in 2004 was 4.1 per 100,000 workers, up slightly from 4.0 per 100,000 workers in 2002 and 2003. The increase in the fatality rate in 2004 was the first since 1994 when the rate was 5.3 fatalities per 100,000 workers. (Work-related fatalities that resulted from the September 11 terrorist attacks were tabulated separately for this analysis.) For more information, see "National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries in 2004," news release USDL 05–1598.
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