There is great excitement among liberals and the media (ah but I repeat myself) about the drop in the unemployment rate. I could try to explain the differences in how unemployment is caluculated now compared to the past or how people leaving the work force can make the unemployment rate go down but that makes most people’s head spin.
Here is a simple way to know what is going on in our economy. Unemployment numbers used to focus only on people 25 or older who were looking for full time work because these represented people who were most likely supporting a household.
Using this criteria: In 2007, the number of people 25 or older working full time was a little over 110 million. Today, there are only 104 million people working full time even though our population has grown. This is a drop in full time employment of 6 million 586 thousand jobs .
While these employment numbers are better than they were in January, this month’s numbers are awful. There were 204,000 fewer people working full time jobs compared to last month.
On the plus side, the announced number of 8.6% may create a false optimism that might spur employment. It is false optimism because the unemployment rate only went down because people left the work force. (as someone said “if you shoot the unemployed, the unemployment number will go down” and when people leave the work force the same thing happens.)
So raise a toast to these “great” numbers liberals. There are over 6 million people who have reason to doubt.