US Jobless Rate Edges Down …
… BUT SO DOES THE NATION’S LABOR FORCE
The American economy created an estimated 146,000 jobs in November, according to government statistics. As a result the nation’s jobless rate to decline from 7.9 to 7.7 percent. The nation’s underemployment rate – a broader, more accurate measure of joblessness – also declined, from 14.6 to 14.4 percent.
“Good news?” Not really …
First of all, the November data released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) was accompanied by downward revisions in September and October jobs growth. For September, the original estimate of 148,000 new jobs was cut by 16,000. Meanwhile the hotly-contested October jobs numbers – which provided such a boost to U.S. President Barack Obama’s electoral prospects – were cut by more than twice that amount.
All told, government officials trimmed nearly 50,000 jobs from their pre-election calculations.
Also pouring cold water on the “job growth” euphoria? A decrease in the labor participation rate – which fell by 0.2 percent in November to 63.7 percent. That’s just 0.2 percent above a three-decade low (recorded in August). By contrast, the labor participation rate stood at 65.7 percent when Obama took office in January 2009.
Making matters worse, this labor shrinkage has been acutely pronounced among younger workers.
“A more granular dig through the jobs data reveals a far uglier picture, especially for those in the prime working demographic between 25-54,” write the folks at ZeroHedge.
In South Carolina, growth in government jobs has fueled a two-month decline in the unemployment rate – which now stands at 8.6 percent.