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Friday, September 4, 2015

Which Employment Figures?

For John, BLUFSometimes it is the numbers behind the numbers that count.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The International New York Times and reporters Nelson D Schwartz and Binyamin Appelbaum we have a generally positive view of the recently released US unemployment statistics, "Jobs Report Gives Ammunition to Both Sides of Fed Rate Debate".  Yes, the question is what is the Federal Reserve going to do, based on the employment rate.

Here is the lede:

Despite disappointing job growth last month, the unemployment rate fell to its lowest level since early 2008, sharpening the debate within the Federal Reserve over whether to raise interest rates when policy makers meet in two weeks.

Friday’s report from the Labor Department — which found that employers added a weaker-than-expected 173,000 jobs in August while the official jobless rate dipped to 5.1 percent — provided fodder for both camps to make their cases.

Hello out there.  This should be about people being able to get jobs so they can afford shelter and food and clothing and health insurance and so on and so forth.

From CNS we have the rest of the story—"Record 94,031,000 Americans Not in Labor Force; Participation Rate Stuck at 38-Year Low for 3rd Straight Month".  The reporter is Ms Susan Jones.

Here is the CNS Lede:

A record 94,031,000 Americans were not in the American labor force last month — 261,000 more than July — and the labor force participation rate stayed stuck at 62.6 percent, a 38-year low, for a third straight month in August, the Labor Department reported on Friday, as the nation heads into the Labor Day weekend.

The number of Americans not in the labor force has continued to rise, partly because of retiring baby-boomers and fewer workers entering the workforce.

In August, according to BLS, the nation’s civilian noninstitutional population, consisting of all people 16 or older who were not in the military or an institution, reached 251,096,000. Of those, 157,065,000 participated in the labor force by either holding a job or actively seeking one.

So, of the 261,000 folks who were not in the labor force, a bunch were new retirees. But, some were folks who just dropped out.  In some cases those folks moved back in with their parents (or had never left).  But, they are not paying income taxes.  Which means the rest of us are helping to carry their share of the burden.  They need to be working, but that means we need to be creating more new jobs.

This is an important issue for the 2016 Presidential Election.

Hat tip to Memeorandum.

Regards  —  Cliff

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