Have you ever stopped to wonder why the so-called unemployment rate decreases when there obviously are fewer americans working? Well, for all you math illiterate folk out there, if you continue lowering the denominator in your percentage calculation, you will eventually see your percentage of unemployment go down.
Upon further investigating this number we find out that more Americans are not in the labor force as compared to any time in our past. So, I ask you this: Is our real unemployment figure under 8% or not?
The number of Americans designated as “not in the labor force” in February was 89,304,000, a record high, up from 89,008,000 in January, according to the Department of Labor. This means that the number of Americans not in the labor force increased 296,000 between January and February.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) labels people who are unemployed and no longer looking for work as “not in the labor force,” including people who have retired on schedule, taken early retirement, or simply given up looking for work.
The increase marks the second month in a row, after rising in January from 88.8 million in December. Those not in the labor force had declined in December from 88.9 million in November.
The nation’s unemployment rate decreased to 7.7 percent in February, down from 7.9 percent in January. Overall unemployment “has shown little movement, on net, since September 2012,” the Labor Department said.
Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 236,000 in February, according to the report.