I’ve never been a fan of the government’s method of tracking unemployment. It’s completely backwards. The most recent news on unemployment is that the rate rose from 8.1 to 8.2 percent in May. While the recent drops in the unemployment rate have actually been reflective of bad news for our economy (the rate dropped due to the falling labor participation rate), May’s jobs numbers include both good and bad news for the United States.
One big contributor to the rise in the unemployment rate was the economy’s continued anemia: there were only 69,000 jobs added in the month of May, the lowest number in a year, and nowhere close to a number that would provide any evidence that our economy is improving, as the Obama administration has claimed since they passed the Stimulus. In fact, 69,000 jobs isn’t enough to keep up with population growth.
But there is a silver lining: one of the other contributors to the rise in the unemployment rate is that the labor participation rate is starting to rise. If people are starting to get back into the jobs market, that is a good thing. The only catch is, it won’t do any good if the Obama economy continues to add jobs at such an anemic rate.