The unemployment rate reached its Obama administration peak in October 2009, at 10 percent. Since then, it has fallen steadily, but unevenly, to its current low. The unemployment rate has fallen, though, partly because of people giving up looking for work. Those who are unemployed, but no longer looking for work, are not included in the unemployment rate.
More helpful, then, is knowing what proportion of Americans are employed. This is known as the “labor force participation” rate. It tells you the percentage of Americans who have a job.
Keith Hall, a senior research fellow at George Mason University’s Mercatus Center and a former BLS commissioner, put together a chart, using BLS data, of the labor force participation rate since 1990 for those in their prime working years, ages 25 to 54.
Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at To Understand Jobs During the Obama Administration, Forget Unemployment, Look at This Chart Instead.
- Discouraged workers in US / What if they were still in ?
- US Unemployment Rate / What if those who have left the labor force since the start of the Great Recession are counted ?
- US / Labor Force Participation Rate has declined to levels not seen in about 35 years or so, to about 63%
- US / Percent of unemployed seeking work for longer than six months more than doubled between 2007 and 2013