Monday, November 10, 2014

Actually, Unemploymnt Hasn’t Fallen At All Under the Obama Administration

Actually, Unemploymnt Hasn’t Fallen At All Under the Obama Administration:

The Rise of Invisible Unemployment – The Atlantic

2. The rise of invisible unemployment is too large to ignore.

What is “invisible unemployment”? It’s discouraged workers and part-timers who want more hours. The official unemployment rate doesn’t consider them unemployed. So when we talk about the official unemployment rate—now at a lowish 5.8 percent—we’re ignoring these workers. They’re statistically invisible.

Here’s a picture of invisible unemployment (in blue) vs. official unemployment (in red). Since early 2010, the number of unemployed Americans has declined by twice as fast as the number of discouraged/part-timers (42 percent vs. 21 percent).


In 2002, official unemployment swamped invisible unemployment. The official unemployment rate was an accurate description of the labor force. But the spread between invisible and official unemployment is shrinking. In the last 20 years, the six months with the smallest gaps between official and invisible unemployment were all in 2014. That means the official unemployment rate is getting worse and worse at describing the real conditions facing American workers.

Invisible unemployment is hurting the participation rate even more than economists predicted with an aging work force. The entire developed world is getting older. But US participation fell faster in the years after the recession that just about any other country.
I’ve got a better chart for you: