Posts Tagged ‘labor participation rate’

The labor force participation rate … so what?

February 29, 2012

When the Feds release this week’s unemployment data, expect more chatter about the falling labor participation rate … which reflects the increasing number of discouraged people who have stopped looking for work and don’t get counted in the unemployment numbers.

For the 4 years prior to Obama’s inauguration, the labor force participation rate hung pretty steady … at around 66%.

Since Obama took office, that rate has plummeted to 63.7%.

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Let’s try some math skills …

If unemployment is 8.3% with a 63.7% labor force participation rate, what would the unemployment rate be if the participation rate were at the pre-Obama 66%?

Answer: about 11.5%

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Obama’s economic hope continues to be that more and more people get discouraged — or, just stay on unemployment for the full 99 weeks.

Bingo, down goes the unemployment rate.

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