by Bud Meyers, published July 2, 2015
How did the unemployment rate go down again? Because as usual, more people dropped out of the labor force.
June 2015 — 93,626,000 Not in the Labor Force (an all-time record high) per the Bureau of Labor Statistics
May 2015 — 92,986,000
+640,000 More just since last month!
And this wasn’t because of people on Social Security disability, because we actually had a net decrease since last month:
April 2015 — 8,939,419 per the Social Security Administration
May 2015 — 8,939,029
And I doubt is was because of retiring Baby Boomers either:
Apr 2015 — 39,432,426 per the Social Security Administration
May 2015 — 39,505,145
+72,719 Not even close to the 640,000 who dropped out of the labor force since last month.
The labor force participation rate (LFPR) is now at its lowest level since 1977, per the Bureau of Labor Statistics. And the LFPR is projected to be even lower by 2022 — per the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Not counting the 8.2 million who are still unemployed (and still counted as part of the labor force) we will also have another 3 million kids graduating from high school again this summer (not counting dropouts or college graduates) — per the National Center for Education Statistics.
And some of these recent high school graduates are bound to start looking for a job (they’re not ALL going to go to college full-time on a scholarship). And they will be competing with those who are already unemployed, and those who just graduated from college, and those who will enter the country from any new immigration, and those who will be brought here on new H-1B visas as guestworkers.
More Baby Boomers are going to have to retire soon to make room in the labor market for all these unemployed people — and then the economists can blame them for leaving the labor force as the reason for the declining labor force participation rate.