The numbers provided by government
The government reported that the economy added 88,000 jobs in March, 2013—economists had expected 190,000 new jobs for the month. The unemployment dropped to 7.6% while the government conveniently put 663,000 more people in the so-called “not-in-labor-force” group—the group that are not included in the unemployment rate.
Let let us look in the numbers released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to see the real state of employment (click here to access data prepared by the BLS).
(Numbers in thousand—all figures are seasonally adjusted)
Dec Jan Feb March
Civilian labor force: 155,511 155,654 155,524 155,028
Employed: 143,305 143,322 143,492 143,286
Unemployed: 12,206 12,332 12,032 11,742
Unemployment rate: 7.8% 7.9% 7.7% 7.6%
Not in Labor Force: 88,839 89,008 89,304 89,967
Not in Labor Force—
But want a job: 6,750 6,631 6,821 6,722
—while the number of employed persons decreased by 206,000 (143,492 – 143,286), the number of unemployed people also decreased by 290,000 (12,032 – 11,742). The reason for this is that the government counted 663,000 more people not in the labor force (89,967 – 89,304). This helps the government to reduce the unemployment rate down to 7.6% (from 7.7%)
—the number of people not counted in labor force but wanted a job—and could not find one—is 6,722. This brings the true number of unemployed persons: 18,464,000 (11,742 + 6,722) in March
The good, bad and ugly news in the employment market
The good news is really hard to find in this report as one should suspect the government has been playing with the numbers to hide the ugly part of the employment market.
The bad news is the number of part-time workers stayed at a high number 18,745,000.
The ugly news is the addition of 663,000 in the “not-in-labor-force” group. These people gave up looking for jobs—as claimed by government. Simply put, these people truly were unable to find jobs. Another note…the retail sector lost 24,000 jobs…these may be the temporary jobs added during the holidays.
Blame game may begin
The blame game may begin as the government may start to use “sequestration” as excuses for lack of new job creations. The truth may lie with the lack of stimulus from government policies. Instead, they have been pumping “virtual” money into the market.