The Campaign Spot

Our Workforce Lost 2.33 Million People in One Year?

My regular correspondent Number Cruncher takes a look at the latest jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and notices:

The percentage of the overall population that is employed in March 2010 was 58.6 percent. One year later, the total percentage of overall population  employed is . . . 58.5 percent.  Conclusion: In a growing population we have produced fewer jobs than the number that the population grew. (For the record, the number of Civilian non-institutionalized population was 237.2 million in March 2010, and is 239.00 million in March 2011.)

The number of people who were “not in the labor force” In March 2010 was 83,264,000 (seasonally adjusted). In March 2011, it was 85,594,000 (seasonally adjusted). If you want to know how unemployment dropped a point, look no further than this statistic.

If you remove 2.33 million people from the labor force within one year, that will indeed help lower the unemployment rate. It is, however, not the same as helping the unemployed find jobs.

I’m scheduled to appear on MSNBC’s Hardball tonight with guest host Chuck Todd, discussing the jobs numbers and the 2012 campaign.

UPDATE: Topic change! I’m now talking about this Ron Brownstein piece on “the changing American electorate.”


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