Tuesday, December 18, 2012



IWS Documented News Service


Institute for Workplace Studies----------------- Professor Samuel B. Bacharach

School of Industrial & Labor Relations-------- Director, Institute for Workplace Studies

Cornell University

16 East 34th Street, 4th floor---------------------- Stuart Basefsky

New York, NY 10016 -------------------------------Director, IWS News Bureau



WORK EXPERIENCE OF THE POPULATION -- 2011 [18 December 2012]




[full-text, 9 pages]


A total of 153.5 million persons worked at some point during 2011, the U.S.

Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. The proportion of the civilian

noninstitutional population age 16 and over who worked at some time during

2011 was 63.3 percent, down from 63.7 percent in 2010. The number of persons

who experienced some unemployment during 2011 was 23.7 million, down by 1.5

million from 2010.


These data are based on information collected in the Annual Social and

Economic Supplement (ASEC) to the Current Population Survey (CPS). The CPS

is a monthly survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau for the U.S. Bureau

of Labor Statistics. The ASEC collects information on employment and

unemployment experienced during the prior calendar year. Additional

information about the CPS and the ASEC, including concepts and definitions,

is provided in the Technical Note.


Highlights from the 2011 data:


   --The proportion of workers who worked full time, year round in 2011 was

     65.8 percent, up from 64.7 percent in 2010. (See table 1.)


   --The "work-experience unemployment rate"--defined as the number of

     persons unemployed at some time during the year as a proportion of the

     number of persons who worked or looked for work during the year--was

     14.9 percent in 2011, down from 15.9 percent in 2010. (See table 3.)


   --The number of individuals who looked for a job but did not work at all

     during 2011 declined by 348,000 over the year to 6.2 million. (See

     table 3.)


Persons with Employment


Overall, 63.3 percent of the population worked in 2011. The proportion of

men who worked during the year was 68.8 percent, down from 69.3 percent in

2010. The proportion of women who worked at some point during 2011 was 58.1

percent, little changed from the prior year. (See table 1.)


The proportion of whites (64.1 percent) who worked at some time during 2011

declined from 2010, while the share of blacks (58.2 percent), Asians (62.8

percent), and Hispanics (63.4 percent) showed little or no change. (See

table 2.)


Of those employed at some time during 2011, 78.6 percent usually worked full

time, up from 78.2 percent a year earlier. The proportion of employed men

working full time rose, while the proportion of women changed little. Men

continued to be more likely than women to work full time during the year,

84.8 versus 71.7 percent.


Of the total who worked during 2011, 77.0 percent were employed year round

(working 50 to 52 weeks, either full or part time), an increase from 75.9

percent in 2010. The share of men employed year round rose by 1.7 percentage

points to 78.4 percent in 2011, while the percentage of women working year

round was little changed at 75.5 percent. (See table 1.)


Persons with Unemployment


About 159.7 million persons worked or looked for work at some time in 2011.

Of those, 23.7 million experienced some unemployment during the year, 1.5

million fewer than in 2010.


At 14.9 percent in 2011, the work-experience unemployment rate (those looking

for work during the year as a percent of those who worked or looked for work

during the year) was 1.0 percentage point lower than in 2010. The rate for 2009

(16.4 percent) was the highest since 1985. The work-experience unemployment

rate for men has also fallen since a recent peak in 2009, but the rate for

women was about unchanged. Men continued to have higher work-experience

unemployment rates in 2011 than women, 15.8 versus 13.8 percent. (See

table 3.)


The work-experience unemployment rates for whites (13.7 percent) and Hispanics

(18.3 percent) declined from 2010 to 2011, while the rates for blacks (22.2

percent) and Asians (12.2 percent) were little changed. Among whites, blacks,

and Hispanics, the rates for men were higher than the rates for women. Among

Asians, the rates for men and women were little different from each other.

(See table 4.)


Among those who experienced unemployment in 2011, the median number of weeks

spent looking for work was 19.8, about unchanged from 2009 and 2010. The number

of persons who looked for a job but did not work at all in 2011 declined by

348,000 over the year to 6.2 million. Of the 17.5 million individuals who worked

during 2011 and also experienced unemployment, 1 in 5 had two or more spells of

joblessness, about the same as in the prior 2 years. (See table 3.)



AND MORE...including TABLES....






This information is provided to subscribers, friends, faculty, students and alumni of the School of Industrial & Labor Relations (ILR). It is a service of the Institute for Workplace Studies (IWS) in New York City. Stuart Basefsky is responsible for the selection of the contents which is intended to keep researchers, companies, workers, and governments aware of the latest information related to ILR disciplines as it becomes available for the purposes of research, understanding and debate. The content does not reflect the opinions or positions of Cornell University, the School of Industrial & Labor Relations, or that of Mr. Basefsky and should not be construed as such. The service is unique in that it provides the original source documentation, via links, behind the news and research of the day. Use of the information provided is unrestricted. However, it is requested that users acknowledge that the information was found via the IWS Documented News Service.


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