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Gotta love those headline writers. "Jobless Rate Falls" will be standard fare for the next week as the MSM continues its cheerleading to promote Obama's campaign. I'm not opposed to cheerleading if it makes sense. But we've heard all this before! It's a broken record.
More workers and lower unemployment are always good. But lying about their meaning is a huge problem. We don't have a hiring trend, let alone a trend meaningful enough to call for an economic recovery!
While part of the decline in the unemployment rate from 9.0 percent in October was due to people leaving the labor force, the household survey from which the jobless rate is derived also showed solid gains in employment.
In other words, about 3/4 of the drop in unemployment is from people leaving the workforce, while the long term trend since January 2011 is flat (at best). In addition, the size of the job gains are still minimal, don't represent a meaningful trend, and come as we gear up for - what? - holiday season. This is a snoozer from the MSM, but if it begins to show strength into 2012 (if we see 200,000+ jobs created in December, Jan, Feb), I'll happily eat crow. But we've seen growth of 122,000 jobs before during the recession. In fact, we've seen months of more than 200,000 several times. At what point does this story get old?
The CNBC story did mention that the participation rate dropped to 64 percent, from 64.2 percent in October, representing 315,000 fewer job-seekers. Yahoo conveniently left that info out, but their commenters jumped on it.
As you imply, ya gotta look at both the unemployment trend and the participation rate trend.