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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

5/2/2014 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Statistics don't list number of Americans who have given up their job search

There's good news and bad news: In spite of the U.S. jobless rate plummeting, still more than 92 million Americans remain out of the labor force. This discouraging figure is probably due to the fact that statisticians don't figure in the number of Americans who have simply abandoned their job search.

There's no getting around the unpleasant fact that the fall in the unemployment rate was due mainly to the exodus of people who stopped looking for work.

There's no getting around the unpleasant fact that the fall in the unemployment rate was due mainly to the exodus of people who stopped looking for work.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

5/2/2014 (1 year ago)

Published in Business & Economics

Keywords: Unemployment, figures, job searches


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - On any other occasion, it would be good news. The unemployment rate dropped to 6.3 percent in April from 6.7 percent in March, the lowest it has been since September 2008 when it was 6.1 percent. The downside is that the number of people working or seeking work fell as the Bureau of Labor Statistics does not count people not looking for a job as unemployed.

The bureau noted that the civilian labor force dropped by 806,000 last month, following an increase of 503,000 in March.

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The amount of Americans not in the labor force in April rose to 92,594,000, almost 1 million more than the previous month. In March, 91,630,000 Americans were not in the labor force, which includes an aging population that is continuing to head into retirement.

"The labor force participation rate fell by 0.4 percentage point to 62.8 percent in April. The participation rate has shown no clear trend in recent months and currently is the same as it was this past October. The employment-population ratio showed no change over the month (58.9 percent) and has changed little over the year," the bureau said in a statement.

The number of unemployed Americans decreased by 733,000 to 9.8 million last month.

There's sign of an economic recovery. Employers have now added an average of 238,000 jobs the past three months, up from 167,000 in the previous three.

"Not only is job growth continuing, but it is accelerating," Patrick O'Keefe, director of economic research at the accounting and consulting firm CohnReznick says.

There's no getting around the unpleasant fact that the fall in the unemployment rate was due mainly to the exodus of people who stopped looking for work.

According to the Obama administration, businesses have added more than 9.2 million jobs over the past 50 months.

"The employment data can fluctuate from month-to-month, and while this month's report happens to be above expectations, it is still broadly consistent with the recent trends we have been seeing in the labor market," Jason Furman, chairman of President Barack Obama's Council of Economic Advisers, wrote on the White House blog.

"The President continues to emphasize that more can and should be done to support the recovery, including acting on his own executive authority to expand economic opportunity, as well as pushing Congress for additional investments in infrastructure, education and research, an increase in the minimum wage, and a reinstatement of extended unemployment insurance benefits."

House Speaker John Boehner described the recent news as troubling.

"[W]hile its welcome news that more of our friends and neighbors found work in the past month, this report also indicates more than 800,000 Americans left the workforce last month, which is troubling," Boehner said in a statement. "We need more robust economic growth if we're going to help the millions who remain unemployed get back on their feet."

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