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Monday, December 10, 2012

No! 350,000 DID NOT Leave The Labor Force In Misery and Despair in November!

Ah, those Republicans!  Just one laugh after another!   
Here Is Republican Dave Camp's take on the November jobs report:
The unemployment rate fell in November because 350,000 people gave up looking for work and dropped out of the labor force, not because significant numbers of Americans found jobs.  In fact, the survey that is used to calculate the unemployment rate showed that employment actually fell by 122,000 last month. 

Then Jack Welch has surfaced again, tweeting this time.  This is the guy who claimed Obama was cooking the books back before the election.
Sept/October employment revised DOWNWARD 49K..November workers looking for work DROPS 350,000...INTERESTING!!!!
Good heavens, people!  Especially Republicans.... Don't start spouting off unless you know what you are talking about!  You may well sound like a fool to anybody who knows better, like me.. and whoever reads this.

No.  First, the civilian labor force is a volatile number.  Yes, 350,000 people left the labor force in November.  But 578,000 people JOINED the civilian labor force in October.  Altogether, over the past year, 1,354,000 people JOINED the labor force.  Did anybody tell you that?  

People FLOW...

There is a "flows" report which tells how many people stopped looking for work (went from unemployed to "not in the labor force") compared to how many people started looking for work (went from "not in the labor force" to unemployed).  Then the two "gross" numbers can be "netted" out.  Last month, there were only 16,000 more people who went from unemployed to not in the labor force (stopped looking for work) than people who went from not in the labor force to unemployed.

Actually, the reason the labor force went down in November is not because people stopped "looking for work" but because people left their jobs.  Now why do I say "left their jobs" vs. being laid off?  Because if people were laid off, the flows report would show people going from employed to unemployed.  But, by and large, people went from employed to "not in the labor force".  That means that most of them quit their jobs.

3,594,000 people who were not in the labor force in October were employed in November.  And 3,962,000 people who were employed in October reported themselves as not in the labor force.. meaning not looking for work.. in November.  That's a net of 368,000 people who decided to stay home.. and that's just about the same number as the net exodus of people in the labor force.

Hundreds of Thousands Quit Their Jobs

So, no, hundreds of thousands DID NOT stop looking for work; hundreds of thousands quit their jobs (though we don't know why).  And 231,000 of those people happen to be women; 136,000 are men.  But we still have NO idea as to why these people stopped working.  Retirement?  Perhaps.  Staying home with children or aging parents?  Perhaps.  But we don't know for sure.

There's more to address in the Dave Camp statement:

Throughout the Obama Administration, Americans have been dropping out of the labor force in droves.  This has led to significant “invisible” unemployment, as jobless individuals are no longer counted as officially unemployed once they have dropped out of the labor force and are no longer searching for work.  If these “invisible unemployed” individuals were in the official labor force, they would be counted as officially unemployed – raising the current 7.7 percent unemployment rate to almost 11 percent. 
Sigh.
 

Watch for my commentary on this. 

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