The American economy created only 115,000 jobs in April, the second consecutive month in which job growth has declined. The nation’s unemployment rate did tick down – from 8.2 to 8.1 percent – but that decline was due to people giving up their search for gainful employment.
How many people? More than 340,000 exited the job market last month – part of a trend that has seen nearly 5 million Americans leave the labor force since January 2009.
Despite population growth of nearly 8 million since U.S. President Barack Obama took office, the number of employed Americans has actually dropped from 142.1 million to 141.8 million over the same period. That’s resulted in a precipitous decline in our nation’s labor participation rate – and produced a shadow unemployment rate that’s much higher than the government figure.
Analysts estimate that the economy must create roughly 130,000 jobs each month simply to keep pace with population growth. It didn’t do that in April – which is why the Obama administration isn’t cheering the fact that the unemployment rate is at its lowest level since he took office.
In South Carolina, the unemployment rate was 8.9 percent in March.