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%."
This 11.1 percent number "doesn’t take into account the aging of the Baby Boomers, which should lower the participation due to rising retirements," writes Pethokoukis.
"If you take into account the aging of the Baby Boomers, the participation rate should be trending lower. Indeed, it has been doing just that since 2000. Before the Great Recession, the Congressional Budget Office predicted what the partipation rate would be in 2012, assuming such demographic changes. Using that number, the real unemployment rate would be 10.7%. Of course, the participation rate usually falls during recessions. Yet even if you discount for that and the aging issue, the real unemployment rate would be 9.3%."
Whole thing here.