Job growth hit its lowest rate since 2011. The unemployment rate dipped slightly to 6.7%, but only after 342,000 people gave up looking for jobs and left the workforce, driving the labor force participation rate, which measures people actively looking for work, down to 62.8%. That’s a forty year low.
“If the participation rate had stayed steady the past 12 months, the jobless rate would be 7.9%,” writes economist James Pethokoukis, who also points out that blaming the “polar vortex” for jobs is bunk.
But what’s amazing is just how hard hit America’s youngest workers are. Minimum wage hikes have inflated the cost of labor at the bottom of the career ladder. The higher college bubble, fanned by government policies promoting higher education, has saddled these kids with record-high levels of student loan debt. And now, when they’re having a tough time finding jobs, Obamacare is forcing them into the insurance markets to buy policies that are more expensive, with higher premiums, than ever before.
Consider these numbers from the BLS report:
- The U-6 unemployment rate for 18-29 year olds, which adjusts for labor force participation by including those who have given up looking for work, is 15.9 percent. The U-3 unemployment rate for 18-29 year olds is 9.5 percent.
- The declining labor force participation rate has created an additional 1.880 million young adults that are not counted as “unemployed” by the U.S. Department of Labor because they are not in the labor force, meaning that those young people have given up looking for work due to the lack of jobs.
- The effective U-6 unemployment rate for 18-29 year old African-Americans is24.2 percent NSA, and the U-3 unemployment rate is 16.7 percent.
- The effective (U-6) unemployment rate for 18-29 year old Hispanics is 16.8 percent, and the U-3 unemployment rate is 10.5 percent.
- The effective (U-6) unemployment rate for 18-29 year old women is 13.7 percent, and the U-3 unemployment rate is 8.5 percent.
The Obama-era of big government is taking its toll on our national economy’s ability to recover and generate prosperity. Who would have thought rafts of additional red tape for banking, health care, energy and hiring, not to mention an ever-spiraling national debt would result in a sluggish economy with a declining percentage of workers, and an increasing percentage of non-workers?
Everybody not blinded by the “progressive” ideology, I’d say.
President Obama wants to talk about income inequality. Well, a big part of income inequality is the fact that there’s no jobs.