Published: May 04, 2012
Today's monthly unemployment report offered good news, right? After all, the unemployment rate dropped from 8.2 percent in March to 8.1 percent in April. Employment rose by 110,000.
Unfortunately, the declining unemployment rate stems from more people leaving the workforce. As CNN reported:
The Labor Department also reported that the number of jobs rose by 115,000, lower than many economists had predicted. According to the report, 342,000 workers dropped out of the labor force, with the labor force participation rate, now at 63.6%, at its lowest level since 1981.
If the (political) goal and good is a low unemployment rate, then the logical strategy is to keep forcing people out of the workforce. Discourage them, drive them into retirement, get them to take out more student loans to attend college.
What would it take to really cut into the unemployment rate? We asked some accounting friends of ours, who ran the calculations for us (using the current number of unemployed, 12.5 million).