Directly contradicting President Obama’s claim yesterday that the recovery is “very real”, the latest jobs numbers show an employment situation that even White House friendly MSNBC had to call “ugly” and “very bad.”
From a political perspective, there is a silver lining – the unemployment rate, which most news outlets report on, dropped to 6.7% from the previously reported 7%. Unfortunately, it was due almost entirely due to Americans giving up on finding a job and leaving the workforce.
91.8 million Americans are not in the workforce as of this month’s report – a new record. The labor participation rate, a measure of the percentage of the working age population that is working, dropped to 62.8%, a level not seen since Jimmy Carter was president.
5 times as many people left the workforce than the number of jobs the economy created.
As the current administration sees these numbers as a recovery, it should not be long at all before they take a victory lap – right about the time we have about 50% of all working age Americans employed and a 3% unemployment rate because everyone else has given up on even trying to find a job.