Yesterday’s Payroll number showed that the U.S. added 148,000 jobs in September. Not a great number, but it was positive. And the Unemployment Rate dropped to 7.2%. Still a little high, but it is coming down. So, it would seem logical to assume from these two numbers that the workforce was increasing, right?
Welcome to the world of Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers where all is not what it seems. Payroll did increase by 148,000 according to their measurement. But if you read the tables you find out that 136,000 people joined the category “not in the labor force” in September. And that is after 516,000 people joined that same category in August (the Payroll increase in August was 193,000). The Labor Force Participation Rate is at its lowest since the 1970’s at 63.2%. The U.S. has 90.6 million men and women over the age of 16 not working and not looking for a job, an all-time high. That’s 10 million more than in 2008. Total Employment is at 144.3 million.
For every three Americans earning a paycheck there are two who aren’t even looking for a job.
Things that make you go Hmmm…
Assistant State Treasurer
Chief Investment Officer
State of Louisiana
Department of the Treasury