Lower February Unemployment Rates Are Deceiving

Marilyn DeYoung's picture

By Marilyn DeYoung

Member of the Board, CAPS

March 7, 2011
Marilyn DeYoungLast week the major news media reported, in headlines, that in February the national unemployment rate had dropped to  8.9%, the lowest since April, 2009. There have been 192,000 jobs added in one month to industrial and service companies. That's the good news. The bad news, according to the Labor Department, is that the number of persons who have given up looking for a job has increased. This is the labor market participation rate  which measures the percentage of adults of persons who have jobs or are seeking them This rate has remained at its same low point for three years. According to Nigel Gult, chief U.S economist at IHS Global, a forecasting firm, "a strong recovery would see the U.S. adding 300,000 jobs a month," which is not happening. The current labor force participation rate is at 64.2%, down from 66% a year ago. This is a problem that will continue the  stagnation of our economy, stymie growth and continue to increase welfare and unemployment benefits to our strapped nation. 4.4 million Americans have been out of work for more than a year. Disability claims for laid off workers has risen 14% The current CAPS legal immigrant ad says that we bring in over 1 million foreign workers a year who take away American jobs.  Until we reduce this number Americans will still be looking for jobs and costing billions to the U.S.

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