The dark side of yesterday's unemployment numbers
Rick Santelli writing about yesterday's jobs numbers at the CNBC website:
Upon closer scrutiny though, there is another factor contributing to the drop that is not necessarily good news: The official size of the U.S. labor force is shrinking.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes the "Labor Force Participation Rate" each month, along with a litany of other metrics that are used to give us the headline jobs number and the unemployment rate. The government's definition of the labor force is all individuals 16 years of age and older, who are employed or seeking employment. It does not include students; retirees; anyone with unreported income, or "discouraged" workers.
The participation rate is the comparison of the "labor force," those looking for work or employed, and everyone else. That ratio is currently 64.2 percent seasonally adjusted, and 63.9 percent non-seasonally adjusted, the same level as last month. Both of those percentages are currently running at 27-year lows, meaning the percentage of Americans not working or even trying to join the work force is at a near three-decade high.
The last time the participation rate was above 66 percent - the 10-year average - was in August 2008.
Close to the same number of Americans who got jobs last month - 192,000 - stopped looking for work. And for all the celebrating being done by Obama supporters over the minuscule drop in unemployment and barely break even job creation, the fact is those jobs are not spreading evenly across the country. The Midwest is still a disaster area economically, all aspects of the housing industry are still at depression levels, the deficit is still a dagger aimed at America's heart, and Obama still doesn't have any ideas on how to address any of it.
This is still the worst "recovery" in the post World War II era. The average of all other recoveries in the past 60 years saw twice as much growth, far higher job creation, and far fewer discouraged workers.
Just what is it these Obamabots are celebrating?