What have you always wondered about the economy? Tell Us
News In Brief

U.S. unemployment picture at a glance: August, 2011

Matt Berger Sep 2, 2011

The U.S. job situation in August is a carbon copy of July (which was revised today to 85,000 new jobs instead of the previously reported 117,000), the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported this morning. The nation’s unemployment rate held at 9.1 percent for the month.

But if you look at the labor force as a whole there are a few other stories to tell. For instance, the number of Americans working part-time jumped to 8.8 million from 8.4 million, the BLS reported.

“Those employers who needed some extra hands, they hired part-timers,” said Jill Schlesinger, editor-at-large at CBS/Moneywatch.

The above infographic represents the total U.S. population that’s eligible to work, not counting the military, the incarcerated, or those under the age of 16 (also known as the Civilian noninstitutional population). There are 239.87 million Americans that fit this profile, slightly more than last month.

The colors break it down by those who are employed full or part-time (shades of green) and those who are unemployed (red). Combined, that equals the total labor force, which rose to about 153.6 million in August. The remaining stick figures represent those who are not counted in the labor force either because they don’t want to work, they stopped looking for work, or they’re still looking but discouraged.

This data comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics monthly employment report. You can explore the numbers for yourself. We started with Summary Table A. Household data, seasonally adjusted.

For more analysis on today’s jobs report, listen to our interview with CBS/MoneyWatch’s Jill Schlesinger where she discusses what President Obama can do to spark job creation. And read her blog post to see why she says Obama blew it on jobs.

Marketplace is on a mission.

We believe Main Street matters as much as Wall Street, economic news is made relevant and real through human stories, and a touch of humor helps enliven topics you might typically find…well, dull.

Through the signature style that only Marketplace can deliver, we’re on a mission to raise the economic intelligence of the country—but we don’t do it alone. We count on listeners and readers like you to keep this public service free and accessible to all. Will you become a partner in our mission today?

Your donation is critical to the future of public service journalism. Support our work today – for as little as $5 – and help us keep making people smarter.