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Conor Cruise O’Brien
|Conor Cruise O’Brien|
Cruise O’Brien pictured when he was a member of the UKUP
27 October 1977 – 13 June 1979
|Constituency||University of Dublin|
|Minister for Posts and Telegraphs|
14 March 1973 – 5 July 1977
18 June 1969 – 16 June 1977
|MEP for Ireland|
1 January 1973 – March 1973
|Born||3 November 1917
|Died||18 December 2008 (aged 91)|
|Political party||Labour Party|
|UK Unionist Party|
|Spouse(s)||Christine Foster (m.1939–div.1959)
Máire Mhac an tSaoi (m.1962–2008)
|Children||Donal Cruise O’Brien (by Christine Foster)
Fedelma Cruise O’Brien (by Christine Foster)
Kate Cruise O’Brien (by Christine Foster)
Patrick Cruise O’Brien (adopted with Máire Mhac an tSaoi)
Margaret Cruise O’Brien(adopted with Máire Mhac an tSaoi)
|Alma mater||Trinity College Dublin|
Conor Cruise O’Brien (3 November 1917 – 18 December 2008) often nicknamed “The Cruiser”, was an Irish politician, writer, historian and academic. His opinion on the role of Britain in Ireland and in Northern Ireland changed during the 1970s in response to the outbreak of ‘the Troubles’ after 1968. He saw opposing nationalist and unionist traditions as irreconcilable and switched from a nationalist to a unionist view of Irish politics and history. O’Brien’s outlook was always radical and the positions he took were seldom orthodox. He summarised his position as, “I intend to administer an electric shock to the Irish psyche“. Internationally, he opposed in person the African National Congress’s academic boycott of the apartheid regime in South Africa. These views contrasted with those espoused during the 1950s and 1960s.
During his career as a civil servant O’Brien worked on the government’s anti-partition campaign. At the 1969 general election, he was elected to Ireland’s parliament as a Labour Party TD for Dublin North-East becoming a Minister from 1973–77. He was also the Labour Party’s Northern Ireland spokesman during those years. He was later known primarily as an author and as a columnist for the Irish Independent.
Cruise O’Brien was born in Dublin to Francis (“Frank”) Cruise O’Brien and Kathleen Sheehy. Frank was a journalist with the Freeman’s Journaland Irish Independent newspapers, and had edited an essay written fifty years earlier by William Lecky, on the influence of the clergy on Irish politics. Kathleen was an Irish language teacher. She was the daughter of David Sheehy, a member of the Irish Parliamentary Party and organiser of the Irish National Land League. She had two sisters, both of whom lost their husbands in 1916. Hanna‘s husband, the well knownpacifist and supporter of women’s suffrage Francis Sheehy-Skeffington, was executed by firing squad on the orders of Captain J.C Bowen Colthurst during the 1916 Easter Rising. Soon afterwards Mary’s husband, Thomas Kettle, an officer of the Royal Dublin Fusiliers was killed during the Battle of the Somme. These three women, Hanna and his mother in particular, were a major influence on O’Brien’s upbringing alongside Hanna’s son, his cousin Owen Sheehy-Skeffington.
O’Brien’s father (who died in 1927) wanted Conor educated non-denominationally, a wish that Kathleen honoured. O’Brien followed his cousin Owen into Sandford Park School that had a predominantly Protestant ethos, despite objections from Catholic clergy. O’Brien subsequently attended Trinity College Dublin which played the British national anthem until 1939, though O’Brien and Sheehy-Skeffington sat in protest on such occasions. He was elected a scholar in Modern Languages at Trinity in 1937. O’Brien was editor of Trinity’s weekly, TCD: A College Miscellany. His first wife, Christine Foster, came from a Belfast Presbyterian family and was, like her father, a member of the Gaelic League. Her parents, Alexander (Alec) Roulston Foster and Mary Lynd, were Irish republicans and supporters of Irish reunification. Alec Foster was headmaster at the time of Belfast Royal Academy and was later a founding member of the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association and also a strong supporter of the Irish Anti-Apartheid movement. He was a former Ulster, Ireland and British & Irish Lions rugby player, having captained Ireland three times between 1912–1914. O’Brien and Christine Foster were married in a registry office in 1939. The couple had three children – Donal, Fedelma, and Kathleen (Kate), who died in 1998. The marriage ended in divorce after 20 years. In 1962, O’Brien married the Irish-language writer and poet Máire Mhac an tSaoi in a Roman Catholic church. O’Brien’s divorce, contrary to Roman Catholic teaching, was not an issue since that church did not recognise the validity of O’Brien’s 1939 civil wedding in the first place. O’Brien referred to this action, which in effect formally de-recognised the legitimacy of his former wife and children, as “hypocritical … and otherwise distasteful, but I took it, as preferable to the alternatives.” Mac an tSaoi was five years his junior, and the daughter of Seán MacEntee, who was Tánaiste (Deputy Prime Minister) at the time. They subsequently adopted two Congolese children, a son (Patrick) and a daughter (Margaret).
O’Brien’s university education led to a career in the public service, most notably in the Department of External (now Foreign) Affairs. He achieved distinction as managing director of the state run Irish News Agency and later as part of the fledgling Irish delegation to the United Nations. O’Brien later claimed he was something of an anomalous iconoclast in post-1922 Irish politics, particularly in the context of Fianna Fáilgovernments under Éamon de Valera. He considered that those who did not conform to traditional Roman Catholic mores were generally ill-suited to the public service, though that does not appear to have impeded his ascent through it that ended officially at ambassadorial level. He observed,
There was nothing unusual even then about not believing in Catholicism. What was unusual then was to acknowledge publicly that you did not believe in Catholicism…. It is interesting that this did absolutely no harm to my public career around the mid-century – a time when the authority of a triumphant Catholic Church appeared to be overwhelmingly strong, in the media and in public life. But I think many educated people – including many in the public service – already resented that authority and, while being discreet about this themselves, had some respect for a person who publicly rejected it altogether.
In the Department of External Affairs during the 1949–52 inter-party government, O’Brien served under former IRA Chief of Staff republican, Seán MacBride, the 1974 Nobel PeaceLaureate, son of John MacBride and Maud Gonne. O’Brien was particularly vocal in opposition to partition during the 1940s and 1950s, as part of his official duties.
In 1961 O’Brien came to world prominence after secondment from Ireland’s UN delegation as a special representative to Dag Hammarskjöld, Secretary General of the United Nations in theKatanga region of the newly independent Congo (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo). As per his understanding of his mission, O’Brien initiated military action to prevent the mineral rich region from seceding by expelling French and other western backed mercenaries. Western powers had been attempting to provoke secession, in particular Britain and the adjoining white ruled Rhodesia. A UN crisis ensued and O’Brien was forced to step down from his UN position and also simultaneously from the Irish diplomatic service in late 1961. Michael Ignatieff asserted that Hammarskjöld, who was killed in Katanga prior to O’Brien’s departure in a suspicious plane crash, had misjudged O’Brien’s abilities as U.N. representative. He further observed that O’Brien’s use of military force provided the Soviets and the US with ammunition in their campaign against the U.N. Secretary General and UN action opposed to the interests of the big powers. O’Brien wrote immediately about his experiences in The Observer (London) and in the New York Times on 10, 17 December 1961, and later in To Katanga and Back(1962), considered a classic of both modern African history and of the inner workings of the United Nations. In 1962, in response to an invitation from the Chancellor of the University of Ghana, and the country’s leader, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, O’Brien accepted a position as Vice-Chancellor of the University. However, his interpretation of academic freedom later differed from that of Dr. Nkrumah, and he subsequently resigned in 1965. Following this he was the first Albert Schweitzer Professor of Humanities at New York University from 1965 to 1969. During the 1960s O’Brien opposed western, in particular US, imperialism and protested against US participation in the Vietnam War. in 1965 O’Brien declared himself “a liberal, incurably … profoundly attached to liberal concepts of freedom… of speech and of the press”
The question has also been raised here about the terror used by the National Liberation Front [in Vietnam], and by other revolutionary movements. I think there is a distinction between the use of terror by oppressed peoples against the oppressors and their servants, in comparison with the use of terror by their oppressors in the interests of further oppression. I think there is a qualitative distinction there which we have the right to make.
O’Brien returned to Ireland and in the 1969 general election was elected to Dáil Éireann as a member of the opposition Labour Party, representing the Dublin North-East constituency,together with three other TDs, including Charles Haughey, whose probity in financial matters he questioned. He was appointed a member of the short-lived first delegation from theOireachtas to the European Parliament. Following the 1973 general election, O’Brien was appointed Minister for Posts and Telegraphs in the 1973–77 Labour Fine Gael coalition under Taoiseach Liam Cosgrave.
During this period, after the outbreak of armed conflict in Northern Ireland in 1969, O’Brien developed a deep hostility to militant Irish republicanism and to Irish nationalists generally in Northern Ireland, reversing views articulated at the outset of unrest. He also reversed his opposition to broadcasting censorship imposed by the previous government, by extending and vigorously enforcing censorship of Radio Teilefís Éireann (RTÉ) under Section 31 of the Broadcasting Act. In 1976 he specifically banned spokespersons for Sinn Féin and the Provisional Irish Republican Army from RTÉ. At the same time, he attempted unsuccessfully to get Britain’s BBC 1 television channel broadcast on Ireland’s proposed second television channel, instead of allowing RTÉ to run it.
Two additional notable incidents affected O’Brien’s career as minister, besides support for broadcasting censorship.
In August 1976 Bernard Nossiter of the Washington Post interviewed O’Brien regarding the passage of an Emergency Powers Bill. During the course of the interview O’Brien revealed an intention to extend censorship beyond broadcasting. He wished to “cleanse the culture” of republicanism and would like the bill to be used against teachers who allegedly glorified Irish revolutionaries. He also wanted it used against newspaper editors who published pro-republican or anti-British readers’ letters. O’Brien mentioned the Irish Press as a newspaper which in particular he hoped to use the legislation against and produced a file of Irish Press letters to the editor to which he took exception. Nossiter immediately informed Irish Press editor Tim Pat Coogan of O’Brien’s intentions. Coogan printed Nossiter’s report (as did the Irish TImes), republished the letters to which O’Brien objected, and ran a number of strong editorials attacking O’Brien and the proposed legislation. The interview caused huge controversy, resulting in modification of the measure appearing to target newspapers.
O’Brien also supported Garda brutality in this 1973–77 period, though this was not revealed by O’Brien until 1998 in his Memoir. In Memoir: My Life and Themes, O’Brien recalled a conversation with a detective who told him how the Gardaí had found out – from a suspect – the location of businessman Tiede Herrema, who had been kidnapped by group of maverick republicans in October 1975: “[T]he escort started asking him questions and when at first he refused to answer, they beat the shit out of him. Then he told them where Herrema was.” O’Brien explained, “I refrained from telling this story to [ministerial colleagues] Garret [FitzGerald] or Justin [Keating], because I thought it would worry them. It didn’t worry me.” Elements of the Garda Síochána that engaged in beating false confessions out of suspects quickly became known as the “Heavy Gang”.
O’Brien’s Dublin North-East constituency was abolished as part of a government inspired redrawing of boundaries. In the 1977 general election he stood in Dublin Clontarf and was one of three ministers defeated in a general rout of the outgoing administration. He was, however, subsequently elected to Seanad Éireann in 1977 from the Trinity College Dublin constituency, though he resigned his seat in 1979 due to new commitments as editor-in-chief of the London Observer newspaper.
Editor in Chief at the Observer
Between 1978 and 1981 O’Brien was editor-in-chief of The Observer newspaper in Britain. In 1979 he controversially pulped an Observer magazine with an article by Mary Holland, The Observer’s Ireland correspondent. Holland, whose reporting won her a Journalist of the Year award, had been one of the first journalists to explain discrimination in Northern Ireland to a British audience. The article was a profile of Mary Nellis of Derry and dealt with her radicalisation as a result of the conflict. O’Brien objected and sent Holland a memo stating that the “killing strain” of Irish republicanism, “has a very high propensity to run in families and the mother is most often the carrier”. The memo continued, “It is a very serious weakness of your coverage of Irish affairs that you are a very poor judge of Irish Catholics. That gifted and talkative community includes some of the most expert conmen and conwomen in the world and I believe you have been conned. Holland was forced out of the newspaper by O’Brien. She later joined the Irish Times as a columnist. She also rejoined The Observer after O’Brien’s departure in 1981.
In 1985, O’Brien supported unionist objections to the inter governmental Anglo-Irish Agreement. In 1996 he joined Robert McCartney‘s United Kingdom Unionist Party (UKUP) and was elected to the Northern Ireland Forum. In 1997, a successful libel action was brought against him by relatives of Bloody Sunday victims for alleging in a Sunday Independent article in 1997 that the marchers were “Sinn Féin activists operating for the IRA”. O’Brien opposed the 1998 Good Friday Agreement and opposed allowing Sinn Féin into government in Northern Ireland. He later resigned from the UKUP after his book Memoir: My Life and Themes called on Unionists to consider the benefits of a united Ireland to thwart Sinn Féin. In 2005 he rejoined the Labour Party. O’Brien defended his harsh attitudes and actions towards Irish republicans, saying “We do right to condemn all violence but we have a special duty to condemn the violence which is committed in our name”.
Conor Cruise O’Brien’s many books include: States of Ireland (1972), where he first indicated his revised view of Irish nationalism, The Great Melody (1992), his unorthodox biography ofEdmund Burke, and his autobiography Memoir: My Life and Themes (1999). He also published a collection of essays, Passion and Cunning (1988), which includes a substantial piece on the literary work of William Butler Yeats and some challenging views on the subject of terrorism, and The Siege: The Saga of Israel and Zionism (1986), a history of Zionism and the State of Israel. His books, particularly those on Irish issues, tend to be personalised, for example States of Ireland, where he made the link between the political success of the republican Easter Rising and the consequent demise of his Home Rule family’s position in society. His private papers have been deposited in the University College Dublin Archives.
He was a longtime columnist for the Irish Independent. His articles were distinguished by hostility to the ‘peace process’ in Northern Ireland, regular predictions of civil war involving the Republic of Ireland, and a pro-Unionist stance. O’Brien also abused the Irish tax exemption for works of literary merit by claiming this exemption for his newspaper column.
O’Brien held visiting professorships and lectureships throughout the world, particularly in the United States, and controversially in apartheid South Africa, openly breaking the academic boycott. A persistent critic of Charles Haughey, O’Brien coined the acronym GUBU (Grotesque, Unbelievable, Bizarre and Unprecedented), based on a statement by Charles Haughey, who was then Taoiseach, commenting on the discovery of a murder suspect, Malcolm MacArthur, in the apartment of the Fianna Fáil Attorney General Patrick Connolly. Until 1994, O’Brien was a Pro-Chancellor of the University of Dublin.
- Maria Cross: Imaginative Patterns in a Group of Modern Catholic Writers (as Donat O’Donnell) (London: Chatto & Windus, 1952) OCLC 7884093
- Parnell and His Party 1880–90 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1957) ISBN 978-0-19-821237-9 (1968 edition)
- To Katanga and Back: A UN Case History (London: Hutchinson, 1962) OCLC 460615937
- Writers and Politics: Essays & Criticism (London: Chatto & Windus, 1965) ISBN 978-0-14-002733-4 (1976 Penguin edition)
- Murderous Angels: A Political Tragedy and Comedy in Black and White (play) (Boston: Little, Brown, 1968) OCLC 449739
- The United Nations: Sacred Drama with illustrations by Feliks Topolski (London: Hutchinson, 1968) ISBN 978-0-09-085790-6
- Camus (Fontana Modern Masters, 1970) ISBN 978-0-00-211147-8 – released in US as Albert Camus of Europe and Africa (New York: Viking, 1970) ISBN 978-0-670-01902-1
- States of Ireland (London: Hutchinson, 1972) ISBN 978-0-09-113100-5
- The Suspecting Glance (London: Faber, 1972) ISBN 978-0-571-09543-8
- Herod: Reflections on Political Violence (Hutchinson, 1978) ISBN 978-0-09-133190-0
- The Siege: The Saga of Israel and Zionism (1986) ISBN 978-0-671-63310-3
- God Land : Reflections on Religion and Nationalism (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1988) ISBN 978-0-674-35510-1
- Passion and Cunning and Other Essays (London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1988) ISBN 978-0-297-79325-0
- The Great Melody: A Thematic Biography of Edmund Burke (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1992) ISBN 978-0-226-61651-3
- On the Eve of the Millennium (Toronto: House of Anansi, 1994). ISBN 978-0-88784-559-8
- The Long Affair: Thomas Jefferson and the French Revolution, 1785–1800 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996) ISBN 978-0-226-61656-8
- Ancestral Voices: Religion and Nationalism in Ireland (Dublin: Poolbeg Press, 1994) ISBN 978-1-85371-429-0
- Memoir: My Life and Themes (Dublin: Poolbeg, 1999) ISBN 978-1-85371-947-9
Máire and Conor Cruise O’Brien:
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Double Dip Recession Begins: The Ever Shrinking U.S. Labor Force Declined By 496,000!–Labor Participation Rate Declines .2% to 63.3% New Obama Low and Lowest Since Carter in May 1979! and Only 88,000 Nonfarm payroll Increase in March 2013 — U-7b Unemployment Rate Over 22%! — Videos
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Table A-15. Alternative measures of labor underutilization
|Measure||Not seasonally adjusted||Seasonally adjusted|
|Mar. 2012||Feb. 2013||Mar. 2013||Mar. 2012||Nov. 2012||Dec. 2012||Jan. 2013||Feb. 2013||Mar. 2013|
|U-1 Persons unemployed 15 weeks or longer, as a percent of the civilian labor force||4.9||4.3||4.3||4.6||4.3||4.3||4.2||4.2||4.1|
|U-2 Job losers and persons who completed temporary jobs, as a percent of the civilian labor force||4.8||4.6||4.3||4.5||4.1||4.1||4.3||4.2||4.1|
|U-3 Total unemployed, as a percent of the civilian labor force (official unemployment rate)||8.4||8.1||7.6||8.2||7.8||7.8||7.9||7.7||7.6|
|U-4 Total unemployed plus discouraged workers, as a percent of the civilian labor force plus discouraged workers||8.9||8.6||8.1||8.7||8.3||8.5||8.4||8.3||8.1|
|U-5 Total unemployed, plus discouraged workers, plus all other persons marginally attached to the labor force, as a percent of the civilian labor force plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force||9.7||9.6||9.0||9.6||9.2||9.4||9.3||9.2||8.9|
|U-6 Total unemployed, plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force, plus total employed part time for economic reasons, as a percent of the civilian labor force plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force||14.8||14.9||13.9||14.5||14.4||14.4||14.4||14.3||13.8|
|NOTE: Persons marginally attached to the labor force are those who currently are neither working nor looking for work but indicate that they want and are available for a job and have looked for work sometime in the past 12 months. Discouraged workers, a subset of the marginally attached, have given a job-market related reason for not currently looking for work. Persons employed part time for economic reasons are those who want and are available for full-time work but have had to settle for a part-time schedule. Updated population controls are introduced annually with the release of January data.http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.t15.htm|
16 years and over
Series Id: LNS12300000
Series title: (Seas) Employment-Population Ratio
Labor force status: Employment-population ratio
Type of data: Percent or rate
Labor Force Statistics from the Current Population Survey
143,286,000 March 2013
146,595,000 Nov. 2007 Peak of Boom
Series Id: LNS12000000 Seasonally Adjusted Series title: (Seas) Employment Level Labor force status: Employed Type of data: Number in thousands Age: 16 years and over
|1 : Data affected by changes in population controls.|
Civilian Labor Force
155,028,000 March 2013
153,845,000 Nov. 2008
Series Id: LNS11000000
Series title: (Seas) Civilian Labor Force Level
Labor force status: Civilian labor force
Type of data: Number in thousands
Age: 16 years and over
|1 : Data affected by changes in population controls.|
Civilian Labor Force Participation Rate
63.3% March 2013
66.0% Nov. 2007
63.3% May 1979
Series Id: LNS11300000 Seasonally Adjusted Series title: (Seas) Labor Force Participation Rate Labor force status: Civilian labor force participation rate Type of data: Percent or rate Age: 16 years and over
11,742,000 March 2013
7,240,000 Nov. 2007
Series Id: LNS13000000 Seasonally Adjusted Series title: (Seas) Unemployment Level Labor force status: Unemployed Type of data: Number in thousands Age: 16 years and over
U-3 Unemployment Rate
7.6% March 2013
4.7% Nov. 2007
Series Id: LNS14000000 Seasonally Adjusted Series title: (Seas) Unemployment Rate Labor force status: Unemployment rate Type of data: Percent or rate Age: 16 years and over
U-6 Total Unemployment Rate
13.8% March 2013
88.4% Nov. 2007
Series Id: LNS13327709 Seasonally Adjusted Series title: (seas) Total unemployed, plus all marginally attached workers plus total employed part time for economic reasons, as a percent of all civilian labor force plus all marginally attached workers Labor force status: Aggregated totals unemployed Type of data: Percent or rate Age: 16 years and over Percent/rates: Unemployed and mrg attached and pt for econ reas as percent of labor force plus marg attached
Employment Situation Summary
Transmission of material in this release is embargoed USDL-13-0581 until 8:30 a.m. (EDT) Friday, April 5, 2013 Technical information: Household data: (202) 691-6378 * email@example.com * www.bls.gov/cps Establishment data: (202) 691-6555 * firstname.lastname@example.org * www.bls.gov/ces Media contact: (202) 691-5902 * PressOffice@bls.gov THE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION -- MARCH 2013 Nonfarm payroll employment edged up in March (+88,000), and the unemployment rate was little changed at 7.6 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment grew in professional and business services and in health care but declined in retail trade. Household Survey Data Both the number of unemployed persons, at 11.7 million, and the unemployment rate, at 7.6 percent, were little changed in March. (See table A-1.) Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (6.9 percent), adult women (7.0 percent), teenagers (24.2 percent), whites (6.7 percent), blacks (13.3 percent), and Hispanics (9.2 percent) showed little or no change in March. The jobless rate for Asians was 5.0 percent (not seasonally adjusted), little changed from a year earlier. (See tables A-1, A-2, and A-3.) In March, the number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was little changed at 4.6 million. These individuals accounted for 39.6 percent of the unemployed. (See table A-12.) The civilian labor force declined by 496,000 over the month, and the labor force participation rate decreased by 0.2 percentage point to 63.3 percent. The employment- population ratio, at 58.5 percent, changed little. (See table A-1.) The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) fell by 350,000 over the month to 7.6 million. These individuals were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job. (See table A-8.) In March, 2.3 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, essentially unchanged from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey. (See table A-16.) Among the marginally attached, there were 803,000 discouraged workers in March, little changed from a year earlier. (These data are not seasonally adjusted.) Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them. The remaining 1.5 million persons marginally attached to the labor force in March had not searched for work for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities. (See table A-16.) Establishment Survey Data Total nonfarm payroll employment edged up in March (+88,000). Over the prior 12 months, employment growth had averaged 169,000 per month. In March, employment increased in professional and business services and in health care, while retail trade employment declined. (See table B-1.) Professional and business services added 51,000 jobs in March. Over the past 12 months, employment in this industry has grown by 533,000. Within professional and business services, accounting and bookkeeping services added 11,000 jobs over the month, and employment continued to trend up in temporary help services and in several other component industries. Job growth in health care continued in March, with a gain of 23,000, similar to the prior 12-month average. Within health care, employment increased by 15,000 in ambulatory health care services, such as home health care, and by 8,000 in hospitals. Construction employment continued to trend up in March (+18,000). Job growth in this industry picked up this past fall; since September, the industry has added 169,000 jobs. In March, employment continued to expand among specialty trade contractors (+23,000). Employment in specialty trade contractors has increased by 128,000 since September, with the gain about equally split between the residential and nonresidential components. Within leisure and hospitality, employment in food services and drinking places continued to trend up in March (+13,000). Over the past year, the industry added 262,000 jobs. In March, retail trade employment declined by 24,000. The industry had added an average of 32,000 jobs per month over the prior 6 months. In March, job declines occurred in clothing and clothing accessories stores (-15,000), building material and garden supply stores (-10,000), and electronics and appliance stores (-6,000). Within government, U.S. Postal Service employment fell by 12,000 in March. Employment in other major industries, including mining, manufacturing, wholesale trade, transportation and warehousing, information, financial activities, state government, and local government, showed little change over the month. The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 0.1 hour to 34.6 hours. The manufacturing workweek decreased by 0.1 hour to 40.8 hours, and factory overtime rose by 0.1 hour to 3.4 hours. The average workweek for production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls was unchanged at 33.8 hours. (See tables B-2 and B-7.) In March, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls, at $23.82, changed little (+1 cent). Over the year, average hourly earnings have risen by 42 cents, or 1.8 percent. Average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees, at $20.03, changed little (-1 cent) in March. (See tables B-3 and B-8.) The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for January was revised from +119,000 to +148,000, and the change for February was revised from +236,000 to +268,000. ____________ The Employment Situation for April is scheduled to be released on Friday, May 3, 2013, at 8:30 a.m. (EDT).
Employment Situation Summary Table A. Household data, seasonally adjusted
2013Employment status Civilian noninstitutional population242,604244,663244,828244,995167Civilian labor force154,707155,654155,524155,028-496Participation rate63.863.663.563.3-0.2Employed142,020143,322143,492143,286-206Employment-population ratio58.558.658.658.5-0.1Unemployed12,68612,33212,03211,742-290Unemployment rate126.96.36.199.6-0.1Not in labor force87,89889,00889,30489,967663 Unemployment rates Total, 16 years and over188.8.131.52.6-0.1Adult men (20 years and over)184.108.40.206.9-0.2Adult women (20 years and over)7.47.37.07.00.0Teenagers (16 to 19 years)25.023.425.124.2-0.9White7.37.06.86.7-0.1Black or African American14.013.813.813.3-0.5Asian (not seasonally adjusted)220.127.116.11.0-Hispanic or Latino ethnicity10.39.79.69.2-0.4 Total, 25 years and over18.104.22.168.2-0.1Less than a high school diploma12.612.011.211.1-0.1High school graduates, no college8.08.17.97.6-0.3Some college or associate degree7.57.06.76.4-0.3Bachelor’s degree and higher22.214.171.124.80.0 Reason for unemployment Job losers and persons who completed temporary jobs7,0216,6376,5226,329-193Job leavers1,11198195698630Reentrants3,2643,5153,3403,176-164New entrants1,4211,2871,2791,31637 Duration of unemployment Less than 5 weeks2,5962,7662,6672,464-2035 to 14 weeks2,7843,0282,7822,8385615 to 26 weeks1,8771,8581,6951,7374227 weeks and over5,3024,7084,7974,611-186 Employed persons at work part time Part time for economic reasons7,6647,9737,9887,638-350Slack work or business conditions5,0605,1265,1364,906-230Could only find part-time work2,3602,6302,5782,576-2Part time for noneconomic reasons18,53018,46418,90818,745-163 Persons not in the labor force (not seasonally adjusted) Marginally attached to the labor force2,3522,4432,5882,326-Discouraged workers865804885803– Over-the-month changes are not displayed for not seasonally adjusted data.
NOTE: Persons whose ethnicity is identified as Hispanic or Latino may be of any race. Detail for the seasonally adjusted data shown in this table will not necessarily add to totals because of the independent seasonal adjustment of the various series. Updated population controls are introduced annually with the release of January data.
Employment Situation Summary Table B. Establishment data, seasonally adjusted
|EMPLOYMENT BY SELECTED INDUSTRY
(Over-the-month change, in thousands)
|Mining and logging||1||3||5||1|
|Motor vehicles and parts||10.7||1.7||1.3||0.8|
|Transportation and warehousing||3.1||-22.2||-1.7||-2.8|
|Professional and business services(1)||43||46||80||51|
|Temporary help services||-7.1||11.6||23.4||20.3|
|Education and health services(1)||46||15||31||44|
|Health care and social assistance||28.7||16.5||36.9||27.9|
|Leisure and hospitality||52||31||26||17|
|WOMEN AND PRODUCTION AND NONSUPERVISORY EMPLOYEES(2)
AS A PERCENT OF ALL EMPLOYEES
|Total nonfarm women employees||49.3||49.4||49.3||49.3|
|Total private women employees||47.8||47.9||47.8||47.8|
|Total private production and nonsupervisory employees||82.6||82.6||82.6||82.6|
|HOURS AND EARNINGS
|Average weekly hours||34.5||34.4||34.5||34.6|
|Average hourly earnings||$23.40||$23.78||$23.81||$23.82|
|Average weekly earnings||$807.30||$818.03||$821.45||$824.17|
|Index of aggregate weekly hours (2007=100)(3)||96.2||97.4||97.9||98.2|
|Over-the-month percent change||-0.1||-0.1||0.5||0.3|
|Index of aggregate weekly payrolls (2007=100)(4)||107.4||110.4||111.1||111.6|
|Over-the-month percent change||0.2||0.0||0.6||0.5|
|HOURS AND EARNINGS
PRODUCTION AND NONSUPERVISORY EMPLOYEES
|Average weekly hours||33.7||33.6||33.8||33.8|
|Average hourly earnings||$19.68||$19.98||$20.04||$20.03|
|Average weekly earnings||$663.22||$671.33||$677.35||$677.01|
|Index of aggregate weekly hours (2002=100)(3)||103.5||104.7||105.5||105.6|
|Over-the-month percent change||-0.1||-0.2||0.8||0.1|
|Index of aggregate weekly payrolls (2002=100)(4)||136.0||139.7||141.2||141.3|
|Over-the-month percent change||0.1||0.1||1.1||0.1|
(Over 1-month span)
|Total private (266 industries)||68.8||63.0||59.6||54.3|
|Manufacturing (81 industries)||74.1||55.6||54.3||46.3|
(1) Includes other industries, not shown separately.
(2) Data relate to production employees in mining and logging and manufacturing, construction employees in construction, and nonsupervisory employees in the service-providing industries.
(3) The indexes of aggregate weekly hours are calculated by dividing the current month’s estimates of aggregate hours by the corresponding annual average aggregate hours.
(4) The indexes of aggregate weekly payrolls are calculated by dividing the current month’s estimates of aggregate weekly payrolls by the corresponding annual average aggregate weekly payrolls.
(5) Figures are the percent of industries with employment increasing plus one-half of the industries with unchanged employment, where 50 percent indicates an equal balance between industries with increasing and decreasing employment.
In economics, a discouraged worker is a person of legal employment age who is not actively seeking employment or who does not find employment after long-term unemployment. This is usually because an individual has given up looking or has had no success in finding a job, hence the term “discouraged”.
In other words, even if a person is still looking actively for a job, that person may have fallen out of the core statistics of unemployment rate after long-term unemployment and is therefore by default classified as “discouraged” (since the person does not appear in the core statistics of unemployment rate). In some cases, their belief may derive from a variety of factors including a shortage of jobs in their locality or line of work; discrimination for reasons such as age, race, sex, religion, sexual orientation, and disability; a lack of necessary skills, training, or experience; or, a chronic illness or disability.
As a general practice, discouraged workers, who are often classified as “marginally attached to the labor force”, “on the margins” of the labor force, or as part of “hidden unemployment”, are not considered to be part of the labor force and are thus not counted in most official unemployment rates, which influences the appearance and interpretation of unemployment statistics. Although some countries offer alternative measures of unemployment rate, the existence of discouraged workers can be inferred from a low employment-to-population ratio.
In the United States, a discouraged worker is defined as a person not in the labor force who wants and is available for a job and who has looked for work sometime in the past 12 months (or since the end of his or her last job if a job was held within the past 12 months), but who is not currently looking because of real or perceived poor employment prospects.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics does not count discouraged workers as unemployed but rather refers to them as only “marginally attached to the labor force”. This means that the officially measured unemployment captures so-called “frictional unemployment” and not much else. This has led some economists to believe that the actual unemployment rate in the United States is higher than what is officially reported while others suggest that discouraged workers voluntarily choose not to work. Nonetheless, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has published the discouraged worker rate in alternative measures of labor underutilization under U-4 since 1994 when the most recent redesign of the CPS was implemented.
The United States Department of Labor first began tracking discouraged workers in 1967 and found 500,000 at the time. Today, In the United States, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics as of April 2009, there are 740,000 discouraged workers. There is an ongoing debate as to whether discouraged workers should be included in the official unemployment rate. Over time, it has been shown that a disproportionate number of young people, blacks, Hispanics and men, make up discouraged workers. Nonetheless, it is generally believed that the discouraged worker is underestimated because it does not include homeless people or those who have not looked for or held a job during the past twelve months and is often poorly tracked.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the top five reasons for discouragement are the following:
- The worker thinks no work is available.
- The worker could not find work.
- The worker lacks schooling or training.
- The worker is viewed as too young or too old by the prospective employer.
- The worker is the target of various types of discrimination. …
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