Since November 2010, the unemployment rate has tumbled from 9.8% to 8.9% in February. That seems to signal a return to healthy job growth. But is it real?
While unemployment has fallen nearly a full percentage point, just 407,000 payroll jobs have been created — a mere 0.3% rise.
How can that be? Maybe it's because the real jobless rate — which includes those unemployed Americans so discouraged they've stopped looking — is higher than 8.9%. Much higher.
"Though the official unemployment rate is improving, according to our poll, we still have at least 20% of able Americans looking for full-time employment," said Raghavan Mayur, president of TechnoMetrica Market Intelligence, IBD's polling partner...
At one time, the jobless rate included all people without jobs.
But during the first Clinton administration, the BLS changed its definition to exclude long-term discouraged workers. As a result, the unemployment rate has looked far lower than it really is.
The labor-force participation rate, now 62.2%, is at a 27-year low. If you're not in the work force, you can't be "unemployed."...
Gallup's "broader unemployment" measure combines the unemployed with part-time workers seeking full-time work. It rose to an alarming 19.9% in March, from 17.2% in December.
Today in America there are nearly twice as many people working for the government (22.5 million) than in all of manufacturing (11.5 million). This is an almost exact reversal of the situation in 1960, when there were 15 million workers in manufacturing and 8.7 million collecting a paycheck from the government.
The Labor Department said on Thursday its seasonally adjusted index for prices paid at the farm and factory gate -- excluding volatile food and energy costs [emphasis mine] -- rose 0.3 percent after gaining 0.2 percent in February. Economists had expected core PPI to rise 0.2 percent in March.
Energy prices, which rose 2.6 percent, accounted for nearly 90 percent of the increase in wholesale prices last month. Energy prices rose 3.3 percent in February.
Gasoline prices rose 5.7 percent after increasing 3.7 percent in February.
Let's chart that sucker (thanks to PoliPundit):
If you want to understand better why so many states—from New York to Wisconsin to California—are teetering on the brink of bankruptcy, consider this depressing statistic: Today in America there are nearly twice as many people working for the government (22.5 million) than in all of manufacturing (11.5 million). This is an almost exact reversal of the situation in 1960, when there were 15 million workers in manufacturing and 8.7 million collecting a paycheck from the government.
It gets worse. More Americans work for the government than work in construction, farming, fishing, forestry, manufacturing, mining and utilities combined. We have moved decisively from a nation of makers to a nation of takers.