March Jobs

The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ jobs report for March was released last Friday.

On the good news side:

  • 88,000 new jobs were created
  • the unemployment rate fell to 7.6%

On the bad news side:

  • 88,000 new jobs were created against a monthly average of 169,000 new jobs per month over the prior 12 months and against an expectation of 192,000 new jobs for March
    • the unemployment rate fell to 7.6% because the civilian labor force declined by 496,000 Americans
    • that’s 5 times as many Americans giving up and leaving the work force as found new jobs
    • the labor force participation rate decreased by 0.2 percentage point to 63.3%
    • the 63.3% labor force participation rate is the lowest since 1978
    • the long-term unemployed (jobless for 27+ weeks) numbered 4.6 million, 39.6% of the unemployed
    • 11.7 million workers who wanted a job remained out of work in March

This graph illustrates the failed recovery in which we remain mired; it’s an oft-repeated one, but the story it tells just keeps getting worse.  

As the graph shows, the decrease began about the time of the dot-com bubble burst, but the incipient recovery at the end of the Bush the Younger administration has been utterly cancelled, and the rate of decrease in participation has only accelerated since the Panic of 2008 and throughout the present failure.

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