Another “disappointing” jobs report. Only an 80,000 increase, less than the increase of workers in the population. The so-called unemployment rate remained at 8.2%. As you know I’ve been railing at the number and how much it undercounts (see May 4 post). Apparently a Wall Street Journal economist is saying the same thing,
Ben Cassellman writing the day before the new numbers came out touted e-pop as the most important number. “The employment-population ratio, or e-pop, measures the percentage of the adult population that’s working in any given month. Before the recession began, the e-pop stood around 63%. By the end of 2009, it had dropped to 58.2%”
Today the e-pop was revealed to be 58.6%, the same as last month. So it’s risen only 0.4% since the bottom of the Great Recession. That means more than 4 out of 10 working age person are not working. Is that 40% unemployment? Sure millions are home workers (househusbands or housewives), some are sick and some in school, but it’s still a heck of a number.
Here’s another number the BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) published today. The number of workers who have dropped out of the labor force since June of 2011 is 1.8 million. Generally that means they’re so discouraged they retire, go back to school, participate in the underground economy or just sit around. Of that number 1.4 million are women. That’s darn surprising as women were supposedly doing remarkably well this slump.
The “slow improvement” the administration sees out there is a mirage.