The Feds reported that the unemployment rate dropped to 7.3% … despite tepid job growth – fewer jobs added than expected, and those that were added were in retail & hospitality.
Most analysts quickly pointed out that the unemployment rate dropped because the number of people dropping out of the labor force was about twice the number of jobs added.
In technical jargon, the labor force participation rate dropped to a 35 year low.
A complementary metric that combines the effect of the Unemployment Rate and the Labor Force Participation Rate is the Civilian Employment to Population Ratio – the percentage of the working age population that has a job.
That rate dropped about 4 percentage points during the recession … then has flatlined during the “recovery”.
That is, job growth has barely kept up with population growth.
What about my favorite? The downmixing to more part time positions?
Here’s a metric to watch: the Ratio of Part Timers to Total Employees.
Administration shills have been rounding the talk shows arguing that the ObamaCare regs aren’t driving companies to hire more part-timers.
Just this year – in the run up to ObamaCare activation – part-timers have increased from 19.2% of the employment base to 19,5%.
That 3/10ths of a percent may sound measly … but the laws of big numbers kick in …. it’s a swing of about a half million positions downmixed from full time to part time.
Side note: Over the period 2000 to now, the part-time ratio has averaged 18.1%.
The increase to 19.5% is equivalent to about 2 million positions.
Sure looks like a downmixing to me.