Economy & Budget

Nothing to see here: Labor market continues collapse

Nothing to see here: Labor market continues collapse

If the work force continues shrinking at this pace, we’ll get the unemployment rate down to that 5 percent President Obama promised us before you know it.

Yes, the unemployment rate fell from 8.3 percent to 8.1; the decline due to a continued shrinking labor force rather than job creation. The number came in below expectations (which it should be noted, weren’t hot to begin with) so spinning the report into something positive will be a difficult task. We’re not even keeping up with population growth.

Even Paul Krugman could only muster up enough strength to write a post titled, “No News On Jobs.” Well for the 368,000 Americans who stopped looking for work there was plenty of news, I suppose. There are now 12 million Americans looking for work and another 7 million who want a job but aren’t even looking.

Via James Pethokoukis at AEI: JPMorgan’s Michael Feroli writes that “there has been essentially no progress in repairing the labor market after the recent downturn.”

It’s unfair to blame Barack Obama for the recession (though he seems to have no problem blaming others), but it is fair to judge a president on his recovery (see above).  Meanwhile, read this incredible press release from Hilda Solis. Her idea – the administration’s idea — of calming people is to send out a whole bunch of campaign platitudes with another horrible jobs report. Alan Krueger, chairman for the White House Council of Economic Advisers, write every month that it is “important to not read too much into” a single monthly jobs report. How about 43 in a row?

Another consequence of this bad news is that we’re probably another step close to seeing the Federal Reserve stepping in with a round of money printing. Last month, the Fed intimated that if we didn’t see an acceleration of job growth it would act. The Fed, reports say, could start buying more government bonds from investors as early as next week.

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