The unemployment rate fell slightly today, and superficially that’s good politically for President Obama and Democrats. In terms of what’s actually happening in the labor markets, however, it’s not such great news.
We still have a major gap between reality and what President Obama promised in his stimulus plan:
The labor force participation rate continues to fall:
And the employment to population ratio (the number of people working compared to the overall population) is still down:
Also worth mentioning is that the number of people with full-time jobs declined, while the number of people with part-time jobs or multiple jobs increased:
…in February according to the Household Survey, the number of full-time jobs declined by 77K from 115,918 to 115,841. The offset: a jump in part-time workers which rose from 27,467 to 27,569, or 102K. Part-time jobs, for those who are unaware, are “jobs” only in the broadest of definitions.
But the most surprising development in February from a quality standpoint was that the number of multiple job-holders rose by a massive 340K, which just happens to be a record. One wonders: how many actual people got new jobs, as opposed to how many qualified single individuals ended up getting more than one job in February in order to boost that much needed weekly income to sustainable levels.
The unemployment rate is falling, yes, but do mostly to a shrinking job pool and statistical static such as an increase in part-time and multiple-job holders.