Over Half a Million Drop Out of Labor Force, Participation Rate at Record Low

The September unemployment report is really a disaster.  Yet another 579,000 people dropped out of the labor force.  The labor participation rate dropped to record lows not seen since October 1977.  That's 38 years ago.  Even more disturbing is how the unemployment rate is really undermined as a reading on the state of labor.  The official unemployment rate did not change at all and remained at 5.1%.

Job Openings at Record, Hires Not So Much

The BLS JOLTS report shows once again record high job openings.  While Wall Street cheers and proclaims the long bad jobs market over, not so fast.  Actual hiring still has not recovered to even the 2007 prerecession levels.  The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey shows there are 1.4 official unemployed per job opening for July 2015.

Plunging 5.1% Unemployment Rate Belies Record Low Labor Participation

The August unemployment report shows steady as she goes sorts of statistics.  Yet, the report is really a mixed bag.  The unemployment rate dropped two tenths of a percentage point to be 5.1%.  The labor participation rate remained the same, 62.6%, and hasn't changed for three months.  Once again over a quarter of a million people dropped out of the labor force.

Unemployment Report Shows Little Change From Previous Month

The July employment report shows almost the same results as last month.  The unemployment rate remained the same, 5.3%.  The labor participation rate also did not change from the 62.6% low.  More people dropped out of the labor force than became employed.  While 144,000 dropped out of the labor force, only 101 thousand more became employed.

Initial Unemployment Claims at Levels Not Seen Since 1973

The DOL reported people filing for initial unemployment insurance benefits in the week ending on July 18th, 2015 was 255,000, a 26,000 decrease from the previous week of 281,000.  The DOL proclaims this is the largest drop since November 24th, 1973, when initial claims was 233,000.  The DOL also states this is no statistical anomaly.  Graphed below is initial claims.


Another 640,000 Drop Out of the Labor Force Causing Unemployment Rate Decline

The June employment report brings some OMG, jaw dropping, are you kidding me numbers.  Over 640,000 dropped out of the labor force.  As a result, the unemployment rate declined two tenths of a percentage point to 5.3%.  The labor participation rate dropped by -0.3 percentage points to 62.6%.  This new low of a labor participation rate has not seen since October 1977 when women and minorities were still were not in the workforce extensively.

April Unemployment Stats Look Solid for Real Employment Growth

The April unemployment rate remained the same, yet unlike the past few months, the lack of change was not due to people dropping out of the workforce.  Instead the participation rate ticked up a smidgen and more people were considered employed.  The official unemployment rate is 5.4%, a tenth of a percentage point lower than last month.

Unemployment Report Shows Labor Force Drop Outs At Record High

The March unemployment rate remained the same, yet once again the BLS survey showed another huge increase in those not considered part of the labor force anymore and as a result the figure hit a record 93.175 million high.  The official unemployment rate is 5.5%.  The labor participation rate is also 62.7% and remains at 37 year record lows.  From a year ago, the number of people considered not in the labor force has increased by over two million.