The unemployment report was just released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Bottom line: 115,000 new jobs added, pundits had expected 177,000. “Unemployment Rate” drops to 8.1%, but as Ezra Klein admits, only because so many people left the workforce (over 300,000 more):
Unemployment rate down to 8.1%, but for the wrong reason: people dropping out of labor force.
— Ezra Klein (@ezraklein) May 4, 2012
Because of this anomoly of the “unemployment rate” dropping because people are leaving the workforce, we need a new name for it. We have an absurd situation where the Obama campaign will celebrate the dropping “unemployment rate” when in this economic climate of people just giving up, the dropping rate actually reflects hopelessness not hope.
And if labor force participation had stayed the same as in March, unemployment rate would have risen to 8.4%
— James Pethokoukis (@JimPethokoukis) May 4, 2012
Update: Alternative title, Economy adds 115,000 jobs, 522,000 leave workforce