Friday, December 6, 2013

Don't Believe The Hype!

The latest news is that the U.S. unemployment rate slipped to to a five-year low of 7 percent in November, apparently an encouraging sign for the American economy.

The US Labor Department notes that employers added 203,000 jobs, nearly matching October’s revised gain of 200,000; this supposed strengthening of the job market is likely to fuel speculation that the Fed may start to scale back bond purchases when it meets later this month (according to Mark Weisbrot, however, this would not necessarily be a good idea - see here)

Before we get swindled, let's look at some data; according to the Economic Policy Institute, millions of potential workers are still sidelined and if we were to count those who have fallen out of the labor force due to discouragement, the real picture is as follows:
  • Total missing workers, October 2013: 5,660,000;
  • Unemployment rate if missing workers were looking for work: 10.3%;
  • Official unemployment rate: 7.0%.
For tables & charts: see here; for info on methodology: see here.

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