December 2011, Vol. 134, No. 12
Labor month in review
The December Review
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The Bureau of Labor Statistics Business Employment Dynamics (BED) program produces size class statistics that allow for detailed analyses of firms of different sizes, from very small firms (with as few as just 1 employee) to large ones (with 1,000 or more employees). These data are especially helpful to decisionmakers, researchers, and others. In this month's lead article, Bureau authors Sherry Dalton, Erik Friesenhahn, James Spletzer, and David Talan apply BED firm size class methodology to establishment data to complement firm-level data. The authors present a comparison of firm-level and establishment-level data in order to study the size class contributions to jobs created by large, medium, and small businesses. The authors conclude that firm-level and establishment-level data display similar cyclical patterns over time. Firms with fewer than 500 employees created 65 percent of net job growth, while establishments with fewer than 500 employees accounted for 83 percent of net job growth. The paper offers reasons for this difference, including the fact that large firms often are composed of small and medium-size establishments.
Concluding this issue of the Review, Janice Lent, a senior mathematical statistician at the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), presents a new, experimental Energy Consumer Price Index (ECPI) that, the author contends, is conceptually similar to the BLS Chained Consumer Price Index (C-CPI-U). The paper presents the similarities and differences between the two measures and further concludes that EIA establishment data are useful for estimating consumer expenditure weights for some energy products and services and, because of the timeliness of the EIA data, for estimating the interim C-CPI-U energy component.
A total of 152.3 million people worked at some point during 2010. The proportion of the civilian noninstitutional population age 16 and older that worked at some time during 2010 was 63.7 percent, down from 64.9 percent in 2009. The number of people who experienced some unemployment during 2010 decreased by 894,000 to 25.2 million. The proportion of men who worked during 2010 was 69.3 percent, down from 70.6 percent in 2009. The proportion of women who worked at some point during 2010 was 58.5 percent, down from 59.6 percent in the prior year.
Of those employed at some time during 2010, 78.2 percent usually worked full time, little changed from 78.3 percent in 2009. Employed men were more likely to work full time during the year (84.3 percent) than were employed women (71.5 percent). In 2010, the proportion of employed men and women working full time also showed little or no change.
The news release regarding these data is available at www.bls.gov/news.release/archives/work_12082011.htm. Additional information is available from the Current Population Survey at www.bls.gov/cps.
Real average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls fell 0.1 percent, to $10.22 from October to November, seasonally adjusted, as a result of the decrease in real average hourly earnings combined with the unchanged average workweek. Since reaching a peak in October 2010, real average weekly earnings have fallen 1.7 percent, to $350.68 in November 2011.
Real average hourly earnings fell 1.5 percent, seasonally adjusted, from November 2010 to November 2011. A 0.3-percent increase in the average workweek, combined with the decline in real average hourly earnings, resulted in a 1.2-percent decrease in real average weekly earnings during the same period.
The news release regarding these data is available at www.bls.gov/news.release/archives/realer_12162011.htm. Additional information is available from the Current Employment Statistics program at www.bls.gov/ces.
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