It’s Like Magic! Official Unemployment Rate Dropped to 8.1 Percent

Isn’t hope and change wonderful? The real unemployment rate is 11.6%, private sector hiring has slowed down and another half a million people dropped out of the labor force – but it’s all good news! You see, the unemployment rate ticked down to 8.1%! Whoopee!

Now back to reality.

Propaganda unemployment rate: 8.1%; Real unemployment rate: 11.6%. Reason for difference: organic growth of labor force. Don’t be confused by cheap explanations on TV why the labor force should be declining: the widely accepted definition of the labor force, that used by the CBO and all other government forecasting agencies,assumes a 90,000 growth in the labor force every month as it has to keep in line with the growth of the US population! (Read More)

It’s so bad, even the first outlets reporting the news this morning had trouble putting a positive spin on it.

Washington Post:

The unemployment rate dropped a notch to 8.1 percent in April, the Labor Department reported on Friday, but the pace of job growth has fallen off, amid other signs that the economic recovery is losing momentum.

The economy added 115,000 payroll jobs in April, a meager showing compared with earlier this year when the jobs tally was rising at twice that rate. …

Bloomberg:

American employers added fewer workers than forecast in April and the jobless rate unexpectedly fell as people left the labor force, adding to concern the economic expansion is cooling.

Payrolls climbed 115,000, the smallest gain in six months, after a revised 154,000 gain in March that was larger than initially estimated, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington. The median estimate of 85 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News called for a 160,000 advance. The jobless rate fell to a three-year low of 8.1 percent, and earnings stagnated. …

CNBC:

April’s job report lived up to muted expectations, with the economy creating a meager 115,000 jobs during the month as the unemployment rate fell to 8.1 percent. …

Though the headline number indicated job creation, the total employment level for the month actually fell 169,000. The disparity likely emanates from a drop in the labor force participation rate — or the level of Americans actively looking for jobs or otherwise employed — from 63.8 percent to 63.6 percent, its lowest level since December 1981.

The amount of discouraged workers swelled from 865,000 to 968,000, an increase of 12 percent. Those working part-time for economic reasons surged 181,000 to more than 7.8 million.

“In the weakest recovery since the Great Depression, more than four-fifths of the reduction in unemployment has been accomplished by a dropping adult labor force participation rate — essentially persuading adults they don’t need a job, or the job they could find is not worth having,” said University of Maryland economist Peter Morici. …

One of those linked articles quoted someone who said we’re still on a recovery path. How pathetic is it that four years after the economic crisis hit we’re still talking about recovery paths?

 

Update: Linked by 99 Counties – thanks!

Related reading: Obama won’t rest until every American has given up looking for work.