What is Going On With Jobs?

Everyone agrees that the employment report last Friday was very bad. Unemployment went down to 6.7 percent, but that was because the Household Survey showed that 347,000 people left the labor force in December while only 144,000 found jobs. In a healthy growing economy you are supposed to get the work force increasing faster than the actual employment, as people join the labor force confidently looking for work. If you look at the data for the five years since President Obama was inaugurated, you can see that we are not just talking about a bad month. It's all bad, from the giddy inauguration to the latest vacation in Hawaii.   The chart shows the seasonally adjusted percent participation of the civilian population in the labor force and percent of the civilian population actually employed. You can see that for the last four years the employment of Americans has chugged along at about 58.5 percent of the civilian population. Meanwhile the labor force has steadily declined. More...(Read Full Article)