Hey Joe Biden: Is This Another ‘Recovery Summer’ On The Jobs Front?
Employers created just 69,000 jobs last month, the fewest since May of last year. Economists had been expecting an increase of 150,000. Further, downward revisions job creation for March and April of this year now state that we added 49,000 fewer jobs than previously estimated.
The U-3 unemployment rate rose to 8.2% from 8.1%. The broader U-6 gauge, which also measures those marginally attached to the workforce, rose to 14.8% from 14.5%, and those that the government conveniently defined out of existence in 1994 now sit at 23%. While you’re still breathing and looking for a job, if you’re out of the workforce for a year; well you don’t exist according to the BLS.
Now, here is the bad news. The labor force participation rate is up to 63.8%, meaning that the shrinking workforce reflects discouraged workers and not just demographics. The participation rate in January 2009 was 65.7%. If we had the same participation rate today as in January 2009, the U-3 rate would be 11%, the U-6 would be pushing 18%, and the true unemployment number would nearly 27%
We are in the longest period of 8% plus unemployment since the Great Depression with forty consecutive months and with the median unemployment duration of 20 weeks. Oh, and total hours worked fell 0.2% while average hourly earnings remained flat.
Yup, sure feels like another “Recovery Summer.”