On Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics will release its first estimate of jobs created during the month of May. The consensus estimate is for about 150,000 total jobs to have been added to the economy, barely enough to keep up with population growth and certainly insufficient to reduce the jobless rate in any meaningful way.
Everybody is worried about the nation’s dismal employment situation, and that worry has prompted news organizations, pundits, market watchers, and others to focus intently upon any and all economic metrics that gauge the problem. On the first Friday of every month, the non-farm payroll report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics is hotly anticipated, and can move the markets for days afterwards.
The federal government’s Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes monthly tallies for the employment-population ratio. That stat shows something rather straightforward: Among those who are living in America and are free to pursue employment, what percentage are employed? (The bureau excludes those who are under 16 years old, are active-duty military, or are — in the bure
The latest Mitt Romney web ad looks at "a few of the 23 million Americans ... [who] are out of work, underemployed, or have stopped looking for work. These are the stories behind the statistics. These are a few of the twenty-three million."
James Pethokoukis asks, "what is the true state of the labor market?" He offers, "If the size of the U.S. labor force as a share of the total population was the same as it was when Barack Obama took office—65.7% then vs. 63.6% today—the U-3 unemployment rate would be 11.1%."
It looked so easy when the bipartisan JOBS Act cleared the Senate (73-26) and the House (380-41) and was signed into law by President Obama last week. But passage of a strong bill wasn’t a snap. Only the maneuvering of Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell kept the measure from being delayed, angrily debated, and then watered down.