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February, 1985, Vol. 108, No. 2
Employment and unemployment in 1984:
a second year of strong growth in jobs
The employment situation in 1984 reflected extraordinary rates of employment growth in the first 2 quarters, a pause in the summer months, and additional employment growth in the last quarter of the year. Total civilian employment, as measured by the Current Population Survey, stood at 106.0 million in the fourth quarter after seasonal adjustment. Employees on nonagricultural payrolls, as measured by the Current Employment Statistics program, totaled 95.5 million at yearend. Both series were up by about 7 million from the trough of the 1981-82 recession. 1
With the robust employment growth early in the year, unemployment continued to drop sharply, but, as the job growth slowed, the unemployment decline slowed after mid-year. At 8.2 million in the fourth quarter, unemployment was down about 1.3 million from the year before and more than 3.5 million from the recession trough. At year's end the rate of unemployment in the total labor force was 7.1 percent; it was 7.2 percent for the civilian labor force. These indicators were down 1.3 percentage points from the fourth quarter of 1983.
This article examines the behavior of the key labor force time series, both for 1984 and in relation to the business cycle, and details the effects on various social and economic groups.2 Special emphasis is placed on such groups as minority workers, as well as on families and their relationship to the labor market, and selected industries that have had prominent roles in the changing employment structure of the economy.
This excerpt is from an article published in the February 1985 issue of the Monthly Labor Review. The full text of the article is available in Adobe Acrobat's Portable Document Format (PDF). See How to view a PDF file for more information.
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1 The Current Population Survey is conducted monthly by the Census Bureau on behalf of the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The survey is conducted among a scientifically selected sample of about 60,000 households and provides information on labor force, employment, and unemployment by a variety of demographic and economic characteristics.
Data from the Current Employment Statistics program are collected from the payroll records of nearly 200,000 nonagricultural establishments by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in cooperation with State agencies. This survey provides estimates of the number of persons on business payrolls, their average hours of work, and their average hourly and weekly earnings.
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Labor Force Statistics from the Current Population Survey
National Current Employment Statistics
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