Sunday, 3 June 2018

Record 95.9 Million Americans Are No Longer In The Labor Force

Record low unemployment rate my fat ass!!!
Don’t believe the BLS bullshit. Scanning the Household data proves it is bullshit. If the economy was booming the number of people not in the labor force would be declining, as discouraged people came back into the work force. From May 2017 through September 2017 that was actually happening. The number of people not in the labor force declined by 558,000. The participation rate increased to 63%. This was definitely positive economic news.
Since September 2017 the unemployment rate has supposedly fallen from 4.2% to 3.8%. Sounds awesome. But it’s bullshit. Just the facts ma’am:

New jobs added since September 2017 – 1.15 million

Number of people who have left the labor force since September 2017 – 1.435 million

The participation rate has dropped back to 62.7%. The average number of new jobs added over the last eight months is a pitiful 144,000 per month, while 179,000 per month have left the labor force.

The reported unemployment rate of 3.8% is pure propaganda, not supported by the reality on the ground. Millions of Americans don’t leave the labor force when jobs are plentiful and the economy is humming along. So it goes.\

In what was otherwise a solid jobs report – one which Donald Trump may or may not have leaked in advance – in which the establishment survey reported that a higher than expected 223K jobs were added at a time when numbers below 200K are expected for an economy that is allegedly without slack, the biggest surprise was not in the Establishment survey, but the household, where the unemployment rate tumbled once more, sliding to a new 18 year low of 3.8%, even as the participation rate declined once again, as a result of a stagnant labor force, which was virtually unchanged (161.527MM in April to 161.539MM in May, even as the total civilian non-inst population rose by 182K to 257.454LMM).

What was perhaps more interesting, however, is that for all the talk that the slack in the labor force is set to decline, precisely the opposite is taking place, because in May, the number of people not in the labor force increased by another 170K, rising to 95.915 million, a new all time high.

This is the reason why the official US unemployment is so low. It doesn't include all the people out of work who could work.

[Posted at the SpookyWeather blog, June 3rd, 2018.]

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