8.3% of What? There Were 1.2 Million Fewer People in the Workforce in January – Where Are They?


The ever-dwindling workforce is a worrisome figure. It cannot all be explained by the uncounted youth and graying population as The Bureau of Truth aka Bureau of Labor Statistics would have us believe – we now have women in the workforce to take the place of retirees and older people want to work longer given the poor economic outlook. When we talk about 8.3%, it is 8.3% of a 58.5% workforce. One year ago, it was a 63.3% workforce.

This lowers the unemployment rate from a possible 9.9% to 8.3% conveniently in time for the 2012 election.

The Bureau of Census said that the 1.2 million fewer people in the workforce this year consisted primarily of 16 -24 and 55 year olds who are not counted in the workforce numbers for some reason. They claim they have worked out the mathematics to show no differences that would affect the 8.3% number. I find their answer unsatisfactory. Again, I need to ask, why is our workforce declining while our population is increasing?

At least 10% of the retiring 55 year olds went on social security disability because of the poor jobs outlook. Youth unemployment is: 27% for blacks, only 53% of college grads are employed but even they are receiving 10% less in pay, 16-19 year olds have fallen to 26% unemployment. Duration of unemployment for older workers continues. People 55-plus who were out of work in January had been jobless for an average of 56.1 weeks, compared with 52.2 the prior month. (Bloomberg)

All these people do not count in the government’s calculus but they want to work and youth employment in particular is a sign of healthy economy, add the seniors, and it’s a robust economy.

For people under 55, the average duration of unemployment fell slightly.(AARP)

There are still 12.8 million people out of work, though that is the fewest since the recession ended. An additional 11 million are either working part time but would prefer full-time work, or have stopped searching for jobs.

When all those groups are combined, nearly 24 million are considered “underemployed. The so-called “underemployment” rate ticked down in January to 15.1 percent, from 15.2 percent. (Bloomberg)

Youth and Senior unemployment has suffered but they are not counted in the numbers for the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Over the last several decades, we have see women entering the workforce, which should increase our pool of workers. Instead, this last census indicates there are 1.2 million fewer people in the workforce.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics does not count people who do not enter the workforce though able-bodied. Those would be our people living off the entitlement systems. Each person on welfare is entitled to several entitlement systems, which buoys up the tax-free income which burdens our tax paying workers. We have gone from a nation that gives a hand up to a hand out.

A smaller participation rate in the workforce is a sign that economy is not productive and it is not growing. The 8.3% number is based on 1.2 million fewer workers who, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, don’t count. They count to me.

Read more details here: BLS, Zerohedge