Friday, December 03, 2004

Not Good

AP reports
U.S. employers pulled back on hiring as they entered the holiday shopping season, adding just 112,000 new jobs overall in November. It was the weakest gain in five months and about half of what economists had forecast.

Still, the overall, seasonally adjusted civilian unemployment rate dropped fractionally -- by 0.1 percentage point -- to 5.4 percent, as more people looking for work found jobs, the Labor Department reported Friday.

Employers' payrolls have expanded by 2.3 million since August 2003, but the monthly pace has been sluggish. Analysts had predicted in advance of Friday's Bureau of Labor Statistics report that approximately 200,000 new jobs were created last month. Even October's blockbuster showing was tempered a bit in revised figures. The department lowered from 337,000 to 303,000 its previous estimate of new jobs during that month.
So no jobs are created yet the unemployment rate continues to fall. In this economy right now clearly the unemployment rate is a meaningless statistic. What matters is the labor force participation rate. Yet such a number is not included in the article. Why?


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