Today we received the latest jobs report for May 2013. The good news is that 175,000 Americans found jobs. The bad news is that our economy remains weak. The unemployment rate rose slightly to 7.6% because 420,000 came back into the labor force; More people are looking for jobs. However, the labor force participation rate is still at a 30-year low of 63.4%, and that is a decline of 0.4% from just a year ago.
Here are a few other illuminating facts highlighted by James Pethokoukis:
- “The underemployment rate of 13.8% — which includes part-timers who would prefer full-time work — remains more than six percentage above the “real’ unemployment rate. Before the Great Recession, that gap was typically less than four points.”
- “The labor force participation rate ticked up to 63.4%. If that rate were back to where it was in January 2008, the unemployment rate would be 11.4%. Even assuming for demographics like the aging of the population, a normalized unemployment rate would be over 9%.”
- At May job creation pace, the U.S. will be back to 5% unemployment in just 58 months
- Back in January 2009, Team Obama predicted a jobless rate just above 5% by May 2013 if Congress passed stimulus
There currently remains 89,705,000 Americans who were not in the labor force.
Yet predictably, what are the Democrats blaming this weak report on? Republicans and sequestration. Democratic National Committee communications director Brad Woodhouse tweeted: “175k jobs added is a solid number. Imagine what our economy would be doing if not for #GOPSequester, GOP refusal to make needed investments.” So predictable. So lame.