Fact Sheet | Health

Labor Day by the numbers

 Download PDF

Share this page:

September 3, 2010 | An EPI Fact Sheet

compiled by Anna Turner

TOTAL JOBS LOST DURING THE RECESSION: 6.9 MILLION

• New jobs needed per month to keep up with population growth: 127,000
• Jobs lost in August 2009: 216,000
• Jobs needed to regain pre-recession unemployment levels: 9.4 million
• Manufacturing jobs lost since the start of the recession: 2.0 million (14.6% of sector’s jobs)
• Construction jobs lost in the recession: 1.4 million (19%, nearly one in five construction jobs)
• Mass layoffs (50 or more people by a single employer) in July 2009: 2,157; jobs lost: 206,791

UNEMPLOYMENT RATE: 9.7%

• Number unemployed: 14.9 million  (up from 7.5 million in December 2007)
• Underemployment rate: 16.8%; Share of workers un- or underemployed: roughly 1 in 6
• Under- and unemployed, marginally attached and involuntary part-time workers: 26.4 million
• Unemployment rate, ages 16 to 24: 18.2%
• Male unemployment: 10.9%; female unemployment: 8.2%
• White unemployment: 8.9%; black unemployment: 15.1%; Hispanic unemployment: 13%
• Unemployment rate, young college graduates: 5.9% (2nd worst on record); Worst recorded unemployment rate for young college graduates: 6.2% (1983)
• Traditional ratio of young college grads’ unemployment to overall rate: 50%; Current ratio: 70%
• Portion of unemployed who have been jobless more than six months: one third
• Average weekly unemployment benefit in July (including additional $25 per week from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act): $332

STATES WITH DOUBLE-DIGIT UNEMPLOYMENT IN JULY, 2009: 16; WHEN THIS LAST HAPPENED: 1983

• Highest unemployment rate: Michigan, 15.0%; lowest: North Dakota, 4.2%
• When California’s Hispanic unemployment surpassed black unemployment: 2nd quarter, 2009
• Projected African American unemployment for Michigan, 2nd quarter of 2010: 24.9%

INCREASE IN AVERAGE U.S. WORKER’S PRODUCTIVITY, 2000-07: 19.2%

• Decrease in all prime-aged worker’s real median weekly wages, 2000-2007: $1; Decrease for African Americans: $3
• Annual growth rate of private-sector workers’ wages, last three months: 2.6%
• Annual growth of wages in managerial, professional, and related occupations, 2009, 2nd quarter: 0%
• Annual growth rate of real (inflation-adjusted), average, hourly wages since June 2000:  0.70%*
• Ratio of average CEO’s pay to typical worker’s pay in 1979: 27 to 1; Ratio in 2007: 275 to 1

EXPECTED NEW SPENDING (12-MONTHS) FROM THE NEW $7.25 MINIMUM WAGE: $5.5 BILLION

• Share of minimum wage workers with high school diploma in 1979: 57.5%: Share in 2008: 72%
• Workers getting a raise from latest minimum wage increase: 4.5 million
• Share of affected workers with annual family income below $35,000: 57.1%;  Share working at least 20 hours a week: 81.6%
• Extent to which the minimum wage’s real value is lower than in 1968: 17%

AMERICANS UNINSURED IN 2007:  45 MILLION

• Drop in children covered through parents’ employers, 2000 to 2007: 3.4 million
• Share of people under 65, with incomes in the top 20%, covered by employers in 2007: 86.4%; Share with incomes in the bottom 20%, covered by employers: 21.9%
• Share of Hispanic workers who are uninsured: 39.8%
• Percentage of under-65 Americans with employer-sponsored health insurance in 2000: 68.3%; In 2007: 62.9%
• Average monthly cost of COBRA with American Recovery and Reinvestment Act subsidy: $370; Without American Recovery and Reinvestment Act subsidy: $1,057
• Rise in out-of-pocket spending for the 1% of adults with the greatest medical expenses, 2004-2007: 42%
• Increase in health care premiums since 1999: 119%
• Amount by which U.S. private health insurance administrative costs exceeded all Canadian national health spending in 2007: $25 billion**
• Share of total U.S. health care costs paid by private insurers in 2007: 35%
• Share of total health care costs paid by U.S. government in 2007: 46%

SHARE OF PEOPLE NEAR RETIREMENT AGE WITH A 401(K) BALANCE UNDER $40,000 IN 2007: 50%

• Percentage of amount needed to maintain living standards that is held by average 401(k) participant approaching retirement: 20-40%
• Share of 401(k) assets estimated to be lost since 2007: 29%

WORKPLACES WITH NO CONTRACT MORE THAN THREE YEARS AFTER ELECTION IS WON: 25%

• Share of employers that interrogate workers in mandatory one-on-one meetings, 1999-2003: 63%; Share of employers that threaten workers in such meetings, 1999-2003: 54%
• Increase in likelihood that firm will fail if unionized: 0%
• U.S. manufacturing workers ranking on “value-added per employee,” compared to 16 nations with higher compensation: 2

ANNUALIZED RATE OF ECONOMIC CONTRACTION, 2nd QUARTER, 2009: 1%

• Likely size of this contraction without the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act: 3-4%
• Jobs lost with the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, 2nd quarter, 2009: 1.3 million
• Jobs that would have been lost without the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, 2nd quarter, 2009: 1.8 million at least***

* EPI analysis of CPS and BLS data
**EPI analysis of HHS CMS, OECD, and World Bank data
***Mark Zandi, Moody’s Economy.com

Print-friendly PDF format


See related work on Wages Incomes and Wealth | Retirement | Health

See more work by Anna Turner