Buried deep in the employment data released Dec. 6 by the Bureau of Labor Statistics is one horrible fact. Only 83,000 more Americans had jobs in November than were working in September. The BLS is touting 203,000 new non-farm jobs in November and a drop in the unemployment rate to 7 percent. An alternative measure of the unemployment rate, U-6, reached its lowest level since Nov. 2008, at 13.2 percent.
The civilian population of the United States increased by 399,000 from Sept. to Nov. The number of Americans not in the labor force rose in that sixty day period by 644,000 people. That loss of working Americans was largely due to a decrease in the number of unemployed over the two month period. The time frame saw 265,000 unemployed workers leave the labor force.
The American civilian labor force measures 155,293,000 for Nov. That figure is made up of the 144,386,000 employed and the 10,907,000 workers who are unemployed. An additional 91,273,000 Americans are not in the labor force.
Since Jan. 2009, when the current administration took office, the civilian population has increased by five percent. In sharp contrast, the number of Americans with jobs has increased only 1.6 percent. The number of Americans not in the labor force has increase an astonishing 13.4 percent.
The BLS states in today's press release that the American economy has added and average of 195,000 new jobs per month over the last 12 months, just over 2.3 million new jobs. In that same time period, based on BLS data, the number of employed increased by 1.08 million. The number of unemployed dropped by 1.3 million while the number of Americans not in the labor market increased by 2.4 million.
The BLS is basing its claim of 203,000 new jobs in Nov. on the Establishment Survey. The unemployment rate, and the data analyzed here, is from the Household Survey. The disparity in the data is not explained by the effects of the government shutdown in October.