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April’s jobs: Americans aren’t working
2 years ago  ::  May 05, 2012 - 6:29AM #1
craner7
Posts: 15,484

April’s jobs: Americans aren’t working



By Felix Salmon

May 4, 2012




There’s a lot going on in this month’s jobs report. The headline number of jobs created — 115,000 — is miserable: it’s basically just enough to keep up with population growth. That’s the number the markets look at. The number the politicians look at, however, is the unemployment rate, which ticked down to 8.1%. That’s still high, but it’s not a statistic to beat Obama round the head with.


The big news, however, lies elsewhere, in the fact that a whopping 522,000 people left the labor force joined the “not in labor force” rolls last month. When more than half a million people in one month decide that they’re not even going to bother looking for work any more, there’s no way you can say you’re in a healthy recovery.


Zero Hedge has the two charts which matter. First you have the number of people not in the labor force, which has been climbing steadily through the recession and the recovery, and is now approaching 90 million. The only time it fell was during the first quarter of 2010 — the census-hiring boom. This chart speaks volumes to me: it says that while Capital might not be in a recession any more, Labor still isn’t working.


People Not In Labor Force.jpg


Then there’s the even scarier one, which is the labor force participation rate — now down to 63.6%.
Participation Rate.jpg


This chart is just petrifying. The participation rate started falling after the dot-com bust, leveled off during the credit boom (but never really rose much), and then fell off a cliff when the recession started. You’d think it would have started to bounce back up by now, but no. Instead, we’re now deep into pretty much unprecedented territory. Yes, the participation rate has been this low before — back in 1981. But that was during the decades when women were still properly moving into the labor force.


As Mike Konczal noted this morning, a key indicator of labor recession is still in force: if you’re unemployed, you’re still more likely to drop out of the labor force entirely than you are to find a job. And as Dan Alpert noted, in a country of 314 million people, there are only 115 million full-time workers and 27 million part-time workers. It’s really hard to get a robust recovery when the number of people earning money is so anemic.


For demographic reasons — the retirement of the baby boomers — the labor force participation rate is naturally going to fall over the next decade. But go back just one year, to March 2011, and look at the official CBO projection of the labor force participation rate. The CBO saw a rate of 64.6% in 2012 — a full percentage point higher than we’re at right now. The participation rate wasn’t expected to fall to today’s level of 63.6% until 2017.


Politically speaking, the unemployment rate is still the number that people concentrate on. But increasingly, being unemployed is little more than a halfway house between employment and dropping out of the labor force altogether. Until the labor force participation rate stops falling and starts rising, the so-called recovery will remain a theoretical economic entity and not a real-world reality for hundreds of millions of Americans. We need jobs, and we need them now.

Heading in the right direction hey Obama?
2 years ago  ::  May 05, 2012 - 12:07PM #2
MAX
Posts: 13,288



 Change in Total Private Employment (in thousands), Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics


 


Wrong direction Craner?

2 years ago  ::  May 05, 2012 - 12:44PM #3
T15D23A46
Posts: 4,957

C'mon max you're smarter than that.


May 5, 2012 -- 12:07PM, MAX wrote:




 Change in Total Private Employment (in thousands), Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics


 


Wrong direction Craner?





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2 years ago  ::  May 05, 2012 - 1:30PM #4
MAX
Posts: 13,288

May 5, 2012 -- 12:44PM, T15D23A46 wrote:


C'mon max you're smarter than that.


May 5, 2012 -- 12:07PM, MAX wrote:




 Change in Total Private Employment (in thousands), Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics


 



 




So what's wrong with the source and the chart?

2 years ago  ::  May 05, 2012 - 9:37PM #5
JoeGNJ
Posts: 12,759

May 5, 2012 -- 1:30PM, MAX wrote:


May 5, 2012 -- 12:44PM, T15D23A46 wrote:


C'mon max you're smarter than that.


May 5, 2012 -- 12:07PM, MAX wrote:




 Change in Total Private Employment (in thousands), Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics


 



 




So what's wrong with the source and the chart?




BS Max...and you know it.

JoeGNJ
2 years ago  ::  May 05, 2012 - 9:39PM #6
GottaGoToMo
Posts: 39,979

If we had full employment, I wouldn't vote for him again!

mariano42



"Without the Lord, I cannot do it."  Mariano Rivera - 9/22/13

2 years ago  ::  May 05, 2012 - 10:41PM #7
AJFreeway
Posts: 5,687

Unemployment went down because unemployment benefits are coming to an end and fewer people are being counted as part of the unemployment percentage. That being said, you can't tell me things are worse now than they were in 2009, gas prices aside. Full employment isn't exactly something you want to have, either. That means that people who might be looking for jobs can't find one because there aren't any openings available. Of course full employment is a virtual impossibility, but it still wouldn't be an ideal situation to be in.

"There is a fine line between 'extended slump' and 'bad hitter.'"

2 years ago  ::  May 05, 2012 - 10:48PM #8
JoeGNJ
Posts: 12,759

May 5, 2012 -- 10:41PM, AJFreeway wrote:


Unemployment went down because unemployment benefits are coming to an end and fewer people are being counted as part of the unemployment percentage. That being said, you can't tell me things are worse now than they were in 2009, gas prices aside. Full employment isn't exactly something you want to have, either. That means that people who might be looking for jobs can't find one because there aren't any openings available. Of course full employment is a virtual impossibility, but it still wouldn't be an ideal situation to be in.





Next........

JoeGNJ
2 years ago  ::  May 05, 2012 - 11:07PM #9
craner7
Posts: 15,484

Laughing

2 years ago  ::  May 05, 2012 - 11:36PM #10
Yankee1954
Posts: 8,749

May 5, 2012 -- 9:39PM, GottaGoToMo wrote:


If we had full employment, I wouldn't vote for him again!




Thats because you're an Independent! BWAHAHAHAHA !!!!!!!  Sure you are!

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