March Job Numbers “A punch in the gut” – Force Participation Rate Hits a 3 Decade Low
This is simply awful. After four years of anti-business regulation, anti-growth tax policy, obamacare, union demands and generationally funded work disincentives (long term unemployment, disability etc) – we have hit rock bottom. Watch for Obama to keep digging. Ironically, despite adding only 88K jobs the unemployment rate fell to 7.6%. That’s because more Americans have given up trying. Not since 1978 has the labor force participation rate hit 63.3%.
How does the White House respond to this national embarrassment? Gay Marriage, Immigration and Gun Control. ANYTHING to divert the conversation. The larger embarrassment is that we as a country have come to view this as acceptable. Demand better.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics released its latest non-farm payrolls number this morning, and it’s not good: The household survey found just 88,000 jobs added in March, versus an average of 169,000 jobs over the past twelve months, and a consensus forecast of 192,000 jobs. The unemployment rate stayed essentially the same, though it actually ticked down, 7.6 percent, because the labor force shrunk significantly in the past month, by almost half a million people. The only bright spot is the revisions from the two previous months, which added 61,000 jobs combined (January from 119,000 to 148,000, and February from 236,000 to 268,000).
Because of the thousands leaving the labor force (in part attributable to economic frustration, but, as always, to a difficult-to-discern degree, in part due to America’s aging population), labor-force participation dropped to its lowest point since 1978 (63.3 percent, down from 63.5 in February). The establishment survey (used to calculate the unemployment rate) actually reported a loss of 206,000 jobs, but it’s generally considered less important than the household data, which provides the headline jobs number.