Unemployment Down; Labor Participation Rate Also Down

It’s that time of the month where liberals go around and trumpet Obama’s success with fudged employment numbers. While the rate itself went down, the labor participation rate remained at its 36-year-low. CNS News reported:

A record 92,898,000 Americans 16 and older did not participate in the labor force in December, as the labor force participation rate dropped to 62.7 percent.

The labor force participation had also been 62.7 percent this September, but prior to that had not been that low since February 1978, which was 36 years ago the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.

In addition to the 36-year low participation rate, a record 92,898,000 Americans did not participate in the labor force in December. That’s 456,000 more than the 92,442,000 Americans who did not participate in November.

BLS employment statistics are based on the civilian noninstitutional population, which consists of all people 16 or older who were not in the military or an institution such as a prison, mental hospital or nursing home.

In December, the civilian noninstitutional population was 249,027,000 according to BLS. Of that 249,027,000, 156,129,000–or 62.7 percent–participated in the labor force, meaning they either had or job or had actively sought one in the last four weeks.

Of the 156,129,000 who did participate in the labor force, 147,442,000 had a job and 8,688,000 did not have a job but actively sought one. Those 8,688,000 are the unemployed. They equaled 5.6 percent of the labor force—or an unemployment rate of 5.6 percent (which was down from the 5.8 percent unemployment rate in November).

It’s the same game they play every month. The one number they focus on is the “unemployment” figure, which in fact doesn’t take into account all those who are unemployed. While those who have fallen out of the labor force include retirees who are done working, it also includes those who have given up looking for work.

The numbers also don’t consider those who are “underemployed”; that is, they previously had a full-time job, but have since been laid off and have had to settle with one or two part-time jobs that are collectively yielding smaller incomes than what they had been used to under previous employment.

These issues are important when analyzing the health of the economy. The BLS is deliberately leaving out this data that would cast a much more negative (and realistic) light on our current economy.

The BLS isn’t so much cooking the books as it is just publishing the numbers that are smallest. It gives the impression that the economy isn’t really all that bad after all, and we can all thank Obama for his tremendous effort to create jobs. Choosing the lower numbers also has the effect of creating an artificial bump in the stock market.

But it’s all a façade. People are dropping out of the work force, because businesses are crumbling under the burdensome taxes, regulations and mandates. The only way to get the economy going again is for the government to get out of the way.