USA Today 12-02-2011
Washington — The U.S. unemployment rate fell last month to its lowest level in more than two and a half years, as employers stepped up hiring in response to the slowly improving economy.
The Labor Department said Friday that the unemployment rate dropped sharply to 8.6% last month, from 9% in October. The rate hasn't been that low since March 2009, during the depths of the recession
Still, 13.3 million Americans remain unemployed. And a key reason the unemployment rate fell so much was because roughly 315,000 people had given up looking for work and were no longer counted as unemployed.
Employers added 120,000 jobs last month. And the previous two months were revised up to show that 72,000 more jobs added — the fourth straight month the government revised prior months higher.
Private employers added a net 140,000 jobs last month. Governments, meanwhile, shed another 20,000 jobs, mostly at the local and state level. Governments at all levels have shed almost a half-million jobs in the past year.
In the words of Mark Twain: "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics."
There are many ways this headline and this story are misleading:
1) Since Obama has been president the pool of available jobs has shrunk by about 2,500,000 thereby lowering the denominator.
2) the commonly referred to "unemployment number" is the U3, which are the people who are without jobs and they have actively looked for work within the past four weeks. But, the U6, includes the discouraged worker, the "marginally attached or loosely employed" and the people who have accepted part-time work in lieu of full time work. The U6 paints a very different picture - currently 15.6%.
3) In November 2008, when BHO was elected the civilian workforce over 16 years old was 154,621,000, Today that workforce is 153,883,000. Last time I checked that was 738,000 fewer workers. Really? I thought about 120-150,000 new workers entered the workforce every month? From Dec 2001 to Dec 2003 the workforce grew 2,424,000. And this included the aftermath of 9-11.
Aren't there any journalist's left in the U.S.? I guess I'll have to check the U.K. papers to read some facts...