July 2010, Vol. 133, No. 7
Labor month in review
The July Review
The Labor Hall of Fame
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Labor month in review from past issues
The July Review
Since 2001, about 1.9 million men and women have returned to civilian life after having served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces. How are these recent veterans, known as Gulf War-era II veterans, faring in the current economic environment? This month’s lead article, by BLS economist James A. Walker, addresses this question by examining the demographic characteristics, labor force activity, and earnings of recent veterans and nonveterans. The article analyzes 2009 annual averages and selected 2007 and 2008 annual averages from the Current Population Survey (CPS), a monthly sample survey of 60,000 households. The analysis indicates that in 2009 male Gulf War-era II veterans and nonveterans had about the same unemployment rate while the unemployment rate of recent female veterans was higher than that of female nonveterans. The analysis also shows that, among full-time workers, there was little difference in earnings of recent male veterans and nonveterans, although there were differences between public sector and private sector workers.
An important part of the BLS mission is to “provide products and services that are objective, timely, accurate, and relevant.” In 2007, BLS began to investigate differences in seasonal adjustment methods between the producer price index (PPI) and consumer price index (CPI) series. In this Review’s second article, Jonathan C. Weinhagen, Jeffrey S. Wilson, and Steven M. Mur, economists in the Office of Prices and Living Conditions, present an overview of the PPI and CPI modeling procedures, changes to those procedures based on their investigation, and an examination of the affected time series. The investigation resulted in updated PPI and CPI seasonal adjustment procedures that will allow the Bureau "…to present the most consistent treatment possible of seasonal adjustment."
The final two articles in this issue are devoted to multiple jobholding. The first article, by Steven F. Hipple, an economist in the Division of Labor Force Statistics, looks at trends in multiple jobholding during the first decade of the 2000s. The author finds that, according to CPS data, both the number and percentage of workers with multiple jobs held steady but remained below the levels of the mid-1990s. The paper also reports that economic factors continue to be among the main reasons for having multiple jobs.
This issue concludes in our Regional Trends department with the second article on multiple jobholding, by BLS economist James Campbell. The national multiple jobholding rate—at 5.2 percent—was unchanged in 2009 for the fourth consecutive year. However, 18 States saw increases in their rates from the previous year. The largest increases were posted in South Dakota, Illinois, Utah, and the District of Columbia. The States showing the largest decreases were Michigan and Vermont, followed by Arizona and Delaware. As they have since 2005, the multiple-jobholding rates for individual States varied considerably around the country in 2009. North Dakota and South Dakota registered the highest rates, 10.3 and 9.8 percent, respectively, while Nevada had the lowest rate, 3.7 percent.
The Labor Hall of Fame
July 2010 marks the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act. To commemorate the occasion, the U.S. Department of Labor is inducting two "Labor Hall of Fame" honorees: Justin Dart, Jr., and Helen Keller. The Labor Hall of Fame was founded in 1988 to honor posthumously those Americans whose distinctive contributions to the field of labor have enhanced the quality of life of America’s workers. Justin Dart, Jr., cofounded the American Association of People with Disabilities and is widely regarded as the "father of the Americans with Disabilities Act." Helen Keller, as many know, was a world-famous author, political activist, and lecturer. Her decorated story as an advocate for the deaf and blind is well documented through numerous books and movies. More information on the Labor Hall of Fame can be found online at www.dol.gov/oasam/programs/laborhall/main.htm.
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