The unemployment rate went down … hmmm.

BLS Report says that 120,000 seasonally adjusted jobs were added in March … below February when 240,000 were added.

In February, the unemployment rate remained constant at 8.3% … it dropped in March to 8.2%.

How can that be?

Remember that the jobs growth comes from the “Institutions Survey” and the unemployment rate comes from the “Population Survey”.

From the “Population Survey”, seasonally adjusted employment actually declined by 31,000 – from 142.065 million to 142.034 million. (chart below)

So, how did the unemployment rate go down?


The labor force participation rate continued to decline.

In February, 154.871 million were in the labor pool; in March there were 154.707 million … a drop of 164,000. (chart below)

Presto … the unemployment rate goes down.

If only more people were to get sufficiently discouraged that they’d stop looking for work, we’d have this unemployment problem nailed.

* * * * *

Labor Force Statistics from the Current Population Survey

Civilian Employment Level



Civilian Labor Force Level


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