Friday, May 04, 2012

Welcome Back, Carter: Labor Force Participation Rate Lowest Since '81

Say, is this chart racist? is just getting sad now. In April the number of people not in the labor force rose by a whopping 522,000 from 87,897,000 to 88,419,000. This is the highest on record.

...The flip side, and the reason why the unemployment dropped to 8.1% is that the labor force participation rate just dipped to a new 30 year low of 64.3%.
Did I mention that this represents (yet another) Obama record? By some measures, there are actually 100 million working-age Americans that do not have jobs.

James Pethokoukis of AEI believes the real unemployment rate is closer to 11.1 percent.

...If the size of the U.S. labor force as a share of the total population was the same as it was when Barack Obama took office—65.7% then vs. 63.6% today—the U-3 unemployment rate would be 11.1%.

...[But if] you take into account the aging of the Baby Boomers, the participation rate should be trending lower. Indeed, it has been doing just that since 2000. Before the Great Recession, the Congressional Budget Office predicted what the partipation rate would be in 2012, assuming such demographic changes. Using that number, the real unemployment rate would be 10.7%.

...Then there’s the broader, U-6 measure of unemployment which includes the discouraged plus part-timers who wish they had full time work. That unemployment rate, perhaps the truest measure of the labor market’s health, is still a sky-high 14.5% [and the] employment-population ratio dipped to 58.4% vs. 61% in December 2008. An historically and alarmingly low level of the U.S. population is actually working.

Americans got a "stimulus package", alright. Right where it counts.

No comments: