More people give up looking for work, causing jobless rate to fall

The unemployment rate fell in May from April’s 5 percent to a mere 4.7 percent.

Great news, right?

Wrong. According to the seasonally adjusted Bureau of Labor Statistics statistics from its household survey, the economy added only 26,000 to employment rolls (The survey of employers found 38,000 jobs added.), while 458,000 dropped out of the civilian labor force as the population grew by 205,000. The number of unemployed fell by 484,000 because they were not looking for work. If you are looking for work, you aren’t unemployed. If everyone dropped out of the labor force there would be no unemployment at all. Zero.

The number of people working part-time grew by 468,000.

BLS chart

BLS chart (Click to enlarge)

Congressman Cresent Hardy put out a press release saying:

Today’s report is unacceptable and we must do better so that every American who wants a job has an opportunity. A good place to start is reforming our nation’s tax code, scaling back burdensome regulations that are hurting job creators, and replacing Obamacare with a patient-centered approach focused on quality that doesn’t define full-time work as 30 hours a week.”

He also noted the labor participation rate is the smallest since 1978.


6 comments on “More people give up looking for work, causing jobless rate to fall

  1. Bruce Feher says:

    No surprise here! Over the last decade more than 43,000 factories and plants have shut down! The largest export via ocean container cargo ships is scrap metal and waste paper.

  2. nyp says:

    Average payroll growth in 2016: 150,000 jobs per month.

  3. nyp says:

    BTW, what percentage of the decline in labor force participation rates do you attribute to the aging population as baby boomers move into retirement?

  4. Rincon says:

    “The number of unemployed fell by 484,000 because they were not looking for work.”

    What, you want to count these people as unemployed? If you’re not looking for work in the first place, don’t expect the great magician Obama to get you a job. You’re sounding like a Liberal, crying that it’s The President’s fault if someone decides not to seek work. With unemployment near 5%, there’s no excuse for not seeking work, and I suspect the 5% figure is reasonably accurate, at least in Illinois, as attested by the lower number of applicants I find and the number of help wanted signs posted.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Thought someone might be interested. The problem, as usual, is that businesses just hate when they’ve outlived their usefulness and do all they can to hold on to that last dollar.

    Solar is more than doable, and the constraint is the energy companies that want to continue to charge you for something that’s free.

  6. Steve says:

    So, just where do we get those free batteries, inverters and solar panels?

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