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The April 2014 Employment Situation: Watching the Workforce Evaporate May 2, 2014

Posted by geoff in News.

Unemployment report came out this morning. The U-3 unemployment rate dropped from 6.7% to 6.3%, but that number has been meaningless for the past 5 years, since it doesn’t account for people dropping out of the work force.

Which they are doing. In freaking droves.

Last month the workforce gained 503K people, but this month we lost all that and more: 806K people left the workforce. This was the reason for the drop in the unemployment rate. In fact, while the Establishment Survey says we gained 273K non-farm jobs, the Household Survey (which the unemployment rate is based on) says we lost 73K jobs.

As always, the only reliable way to tell how we’re really doing is to check out the chart we publish every month (though I’m starting to see other places putting out similar charts). And here you go:


As you might have suspected, the employment situation continues to improve, but at a depressingly slow pace. It’s very unlikely that we’ll recover completely before another recession hits.


1. lauraw - May 2, 2014

Huh. The ‘related’ articles on the bottom are interesting. How long has this feature been happening?

2. geoff - May 2, 2014

Another way to look at the size of the workforce: in the last 12 months we’ve added 2.26 million people to the population that’s available to work. How many were added to the workforce?

62 thousand.

3. daveintexas - May 3, 2014

stop cheering me up

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