Is Your Unemployment Chart Upside Down?

CrownThomas's picture

Is your unemployment chart that you're focusing on upside down? I contend that it is.

As the "official" unemployment rate ticked down to 8.2% in March, and the actual unemployment rate ticked down to 14.8%, here is the chart you'll be shown from the mainstream media, especially during this election season:

 

 

That's nice. Except for the fact that people who are willing & capable of working are leaving the workforce en masse.

The number of people not in the labor force is now at an all time high, as nearly 88 million people are not participating (must be everyone is just able to retire?)

 

Also, one of the most interesting charts I've come across (via IceCap Asset Management), shows the total number of Americans who have a job, in any capacity. This number has now dipped below 64%, and even if the Bernank buys all the bad debt in the world it will have difficulty correcting this trend. If I were Mitt Romney or Ron Paul, I'd put this on the front of my podium and use it as a back drop for each & every speaking engagement I had:

 

So, what are you focused on? If you're looking strictly at a chart of the "official" unemployment rate, you should flip it upside down - that would give you a better idea of how things really are out there.

After all, what Keynesians seem to consistently forget, is that a stock market =/= an economy.

 

 

 

Charts: Bloomberg, Zero Hedge, IceCap Asset Mgmt