Atlas Groans July 3, 2009Posted by geoff in News.
Yesterday’s unemployment rate press release showed a very small increase in unemployment from May to June – only 0.1%. The natural question is: Why? Why is it so small? Are things getting better?
The answer is: Not Really.
- The civilian labor force dropped by 150,000 people, as people either retired or gave up looking for work.
- The government added 200,000 people to its payroll, artificially lowering the unemployment rate.
- Despite the preceding two items, the number of employed people dropped by almost 275,000.
If not for the first two factors, the unemployment rate could have hit 9.7%. It’s clearly not time to relax and wait for job offers to roll in.
But why do I say that Atlas is groaning? Take a gander:
What it means is that a year ago (the June ’08 point) we had about 54 people working in private industry to support a total of 100 people. Now we only have ~50 to support the same number, and the maroon line shows that the trend is only continuing downward.
Note to President Obama: I don’t think it’s a good time to add to the regulatory restrictions, costs of living, or tax burdens of those 50.