From the Bureau of Labor Services April labor report:
THE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION — APRIL 2012
Nonfarm payroll employment rose by 115,000 in April, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 8.1 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment increased in professional and business services, retail trade, and health care, but declined in transportation and warehousing.
Household Survey Data
Both the number of unemployed persons (12.5 million) and the unemployment rate (8.1 percent) changed little in April. (See table A-1.)
Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (7.5 percent), adult women (7.4 percent), teenagers (24.9 percent), whites (7.4 percent), and Hispanics (10.3 percent) showed little or no change in April, while the rate for blacks (13.0 percent) declined over the month. The jobless rate for Asians was 5.2 percent in April (not seasonally adjusted), little changed from a year earlier. (See tables A-1, A-2, and A-3.)
The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks and over) was little changed at 5.1 million in April. These individuals made up 41.3 percent of the unemployed. Over the year, the number of long-term unemployedhas fallen by 759,000. (See table A-12.)
The civilian labor force participation rate declined in April to 63.6 percent, while the employment-population ratio, at 58.4 percent, changed little. (See table A-1.)
The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) was essentially unchanged in April at 7.9 million. These individuals were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job. (See table A-8.)
In April, 2.4 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, essentially unchanged from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey. (See table A-16.)
Among the marginally attached, there were 968,000 discouraged workers in April, about the same as a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them. The remaining 1.4 million persons marginally attached to the labor force in April had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities. (See table A-16.) [Emphasis added.]
This is what a stagnant economy looks like. The gain of 115,000 jobs is less than enough to keep up with population increases, and was below the median economic forecast for April. The only reason that the unemployment rate “fell” to 8.1% is because the labor force participation rate keeps dropping. If you stop looking for work, you aren’t unemployed. But you’re not employed either. You’re just “missing.” You don’t count.
Welcome to the country we now live in: the Stag-Nation.
Labor force participation rate drops by a staggering 522,000 to the lowest level since 1981. That, btw, was two years before Mr. Mom, a movie about the entry of women into the workforce, forced there by the bad economy. This economy is so bad that women are kicked out of the workforce to a rate not seen in over 30 years.
I wonder what Julia’s going to do now.