Crossposted from The Stars Hollow Gazette
More job seekers give up, reducing unemployment
By PAUL WISEMAN, AP Economics Writer
19 mins ago
The percentage of adults in the labor force is a figure that economists call the participation rate. It is 64.2 percent, the smallest since 1984. And that’s become a mystery to economists. Normally after a recession, an improving economy lures job seekers back into the labor market. This time, many are staying on the sidelines.
Their decision not to seek work means the drop in unemployment from 9.8 percent in November to 9 percent in April isn’t as good as it looks.
If the 529,000 missing workers had been out scavenging for a job without success, the unemployment rate would have been 9.3 percent in April, not the reported rate of 9 percent. And if the participation rate were as high as it was when the recession began, 66 percent, in December 2007, the unemployment rate could have been as high as 11.5 percent.
Electoral Victory my ass!
Employment Data May Be the Key to the President’s Job
By BINYAMIN APPELBAUM, The New York Times
Published: June 1, 2011
WASHINGTON – No American president since Franklin Delano Roosevelt has won a second term in office when the unemployment rate on Election Day topped 7.2 percent.
More than 13.7 million Americans were unable to find work in April; most had been seeking jobs for months. Millions more have stopped trying. Their inability to earn money is a personal catastrophe; studies show that the chance of finding new work slips away with time. It is also a strain on their families, charities and public support programs.
Ten presidents have stood for re-election since Mr. Roosevelt. In four instances the unemployment rate stood above 6 percent on Election Day. Three presidents lost: Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter and George H. W. Bush. But Ronald Reagan won, despite 7.2 percent unemployment in November 1984, because the rate was falling and voters decided he was fixing the problem.
How to Get Washington’s Attention
by Robert Reich
Wednesday, June 1, 2011
The stock market is dropping because corporate earnings are slowing. Corporate earnings are slowing because consumers are pulling back. Consumers are pulling back because they don’t have enough jobs or adequate wages.
The economy needs 125,000 new jobs a month just to tread water, given that at least 125,000 people join the potential labor force every month. Simply put, if new hires are in the range of five digits, American consumers will not have enough purchasing power to buy what the private sector can produce.
The leaders of the Street and big business may now have to wake up to a reality they’ve tried to avoid – that the central economic problem of our time isn’t the long-term budget deficit but the immediate deficit in aggregate demand.