May 7, 2012
Last Friday the Labor Department released economic figures that were very disappointing. A couple of months ago the U.S. economy appeared to have had some positive momentum. Any such momentum is now gone. Here is the Investors Business Dailys assessment of some of the data:
Last month, 342,000 people disappeared from the labor force. Had that not happened, the unemployment rate would have been 8.3%, not 8.1%.
Worse, the labor force participation rate has been on a downward slide throughout Obama's presidency, as millions of workers have given up their fruitless job searches (see chart). That also masks the size of the unemployment problem.
Had the participation rate stayed where it was in June 2009 the month the recession officially ended the unemployment rate would be more like 11% today.
And when you add in all those who can't get full-time work because of the lousy job market, the jobless rate reaches Depression-era levels of 14.5% unchanged, by the way, from the month before.
Imagine what it must be like in Spain where the unemployment rate is 24%. Spain gives our socialists something to shoot for.