Here's another take on why the headline unemployment rate peddled by Washington is misleading--
Why the unemployment rate is so misleading - Rex Nutting - MarketWatch: What’s the ‘real’ unemployment rate? . . . . If we really want to understand the health of the labor market, it’d be best to focus on employment and unemployment of the working-age population, 25 to 65, and leave millions of teenagers and octogenarians out of the equation. Unfortunately, this data isn’t published by the government in the monthly employment report, and it isn’t seasonally adjusted, so it’s harder to analyze. But it is available on the Bureau of Labor Statistics website. In 2012, the participation rate for the working-age population was 77.5%, down about three percentage points from the peak of 80.2% in 1997. Find the data yourself. . . .It means that the vast majority of working-age adults, men and women, are working or looking for work. But it also means that many millions have given up hope of finding a job. Some of them will never work again. If the participation rate were where it was in 2007, about 3 million more working-age adults (age 25-65) would be in the labor force, and the unemployment rate for that group would be about 9%, instead of 6.8%. . . .
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