More On The Phony Jobs Numbers


The Labor Department reported Friday that the United States added 146,000 jobs in November, barely enough to keep up with population growth. The net payroll increase was below the average monthly number for the past two years of 150,000.

The US unemployment rate fell to 7.7 percent, down from 7.9 percent in October, but only because 350,000 people left the labor force. The labor force participation rate fell 0.2 percentage points to 63.6 percent.

A more accurate indication of the state of the US economy and the social conditions facing broad sections of the population than the jobless rate—itself very high by historical standards—is the fact that over the past year the number of people not in the labor force has grown by 2.4 million, from 86.7 million to 89.2 million.

Friday’s report also significantly revised downward the payroll figures for the two months preceding the elections. The figure for new jobs in September was cut from 148,000 to 132,000, and that for October was downwardly revised from 171,000 to 138,000.

“At this rate of job growth, it will take more than 10 years to return to the pre-recession unemployment rate,” noted Heidi Shierholz, an economist at the Economic Policy Institute….


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