Friday, December 2, 2011


The Unemployment Rate has dropped to 8.6% according to

There’s two things I can deal with right now; the U-3 unemployment rate, and the non-farm jobs added. While the official unemployment rate dropped down to 8.6%, that is much more a function of people departing the workforce than people finding a job. The Atlantic managed to screen-cap the major parts of the household data, the basis of the unemployment figures (H/T – Jason Whitman.) The civilian labor force dropped by 315,000, which caused the participation rate to drop to 64.0%, down from 64.2% in October. James Pethokoukis ran the numbers, and declared that if the participation rate were the same as last month, the unemployment rate would be 8.9%. Worse, if it were the same as when President Obama took office, it would be 11%.
Since unemployment has dropped you get a Gregalogue

 *  Jim Geraghty of National Review has a good overview of the numbers and what they really mean.

In response to the latest unemployment numbers, I’m seeing people still wondering how the unemployment rate can go down if people stop looking for work. Way back in February 2010, I made a short video explaining the phenomenon of “discouraged workers” (although I never got into how one is considered part of the labor force). If you can stand the poor audio and video quality, it’s still accurate:

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