Almost 3 Times As Many People DROPPED OUT of Labor Force As Joined It

George Washington's picture

The New York Times' Neil Irwin gives a balanced view of the new jobs numbers:

Rarely does a monthly report on the United States job market look so terrific on the surface while being so disappointing underneath.




Employers added a whopping 288,000 jobs, the most in two years.




The number of people in the labor force fell by a whopping 806,000, wiping out the February and March gains and a bit of January as well. The labor force participation rate fell by 0.4 percentage points to 62.8 percent, returning to its December level.


And the number of people reporting they were unemployed fell by 733,000, which sounds good on its surface, but paired with the similar-sized decline in the labor force points to job seekers giving up looking rather than finding new employment.

In other words, 288,000 jobs were created, but 806,000 fell out of the labor force and gave up looking for work altogether.  So 2.8 times as many people dropped out as found jobs.

As CBS notes:

The unemployment rate dropped to 6.3 percent in April from 6.7 percent in March, the lowest it has been since September 2008 when it was 6.1 percent. The sharp drop, though, occurred because the number of people working or seeking work fell. The Bureau of Labor Statistics does not count people not looking for a job as unemployed.




The amount (not seasonally adjusted) of Americans not in the labor force in April rose to 92,594,000, almost 1 million more than the previous month.

The number of women not in the labor force has risen to an all-time high.  there was a loss of jobs in the 25-54 age group,  And - in 20% of American families - no one works.

Despite what you may have heard, the huge numbers of people dropping out of the labor force can't be attributed to retiring baby boomers.

In reality, throwing money at the big banks has led to a  “jobless recovery” – a permanent destruction of jobs – which is a redistribution of wealth from the little guy to the big boys. (And see this.)

And most of the new jobs being created are low-wage or temporary jobs.

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gann1212's picture

government = lies. msm = lies. ha ha what a country we live in here. truth is the enemy and will be attacked at all cost. not to worry nothing to see. give blankenfein a raise he needs it. 20 mill a week is not nearly enough

shovelhead's picture

How right you are. Everyone lies.

Why not? Nobody will hold them to account for the lies even when they are exposed except in a very rare case.

Here's a truth that will be attacked at all costs.

We lie to ourselves everyday by thinking we have no responsibility for the sad state of affairs we live in today. The echo chamber repeats the red/blue, makes no difference, nothing can be done, it's too far gone, it's too big, it's out of our hands, voting is a waste of time.

And they're right. But for the wrong reasons. It is this way because we let it become this way. I'll explain what I mean.

A Representative Democracy means we HIRE (you PAY) to have someone represent you, indirectly, and your region's interests directly in Washington. No argument so far, right?

Ok, so the wise first termer will make sure that he is, at the least, representing the wishes of the majority of his constituents to A. insure he is returned to this wonderful world of being a 'somebody' regardless of his good intentions to make positive changes and B. to increase his margin and capture votes that he failed to get on the first go round.

Then a strange thing happens as he learns about swapping votes and lobbyists come courting him.

He doesn't hear from anyone in his home district outside of the crazy lady who want him to have the neighbors dog shot for chasing her cats. Nothing. No attaboys, but more importantly, no concerns about upcoming legislation outside of those who might be directly effected.

How many of us can honestly say our workplaces would be far different if you got hired and the your boss disappeared for 2 to 4 years? I'd have to say that a certain portion of your time would go to advancing your own interests, rather than your employers, even at his expense. You have the Company credit card with no oversight.

Remember, this is a guy from your district. A friend, a neighbor, You may not know him but you may know someone who does. A married guy with kids and/or grandkids just like yours. Seemed like a smart guy who knows the issues. saw the problems and wanted to do something about them. He's obviously ambitious as anyone entering this kind of election process has to be.

I wouldn't do it and, chances are, you wouldn't do it either.

Another thing we wouldn't do is call, write or e-mail every week and ask how he plans to vote on an issue and if he's working with colleagues to rewrite or correct bad prior legislation that favors lobbyists and their special interests or promote campaign finance law or a hundred other issues that effect our lives and wallets.

We hire them and forget about them assuming they'll run on autopilot. They will, but not the way you'll like unless you get their attention. The temptation to go along to get along and fill the campaign coffers are so great that it would rival Satan's temptation of Jesus in the desert.

I risk accusations of being a Pollyanna so I'll tell you what I do know from my former rep., who I know well enough to chat over a coffee, is that if he got a ton of mail and calls on an issue, he would vote how his electorate wanted even if it cost him votes on his proposals because in his words, more or less, "It took a lot of time, money, sweat and tears to get here and they can fire me just as easily as they hired me. Everyone of us up on the Hill knows it too, some just have to worry less than others. All the money in the world won't save you if they want you gone."

The point being is that you get what you want. You want to vote and forget about your employee and hopes he's working in your interests? Fine. You say voting does no good and you'll let someone else decide how you get fleeced? Fine. Nobody listens so why bother? Ok.

As a former employer, I have a different point of view. You want a check, I want results. As long as both those wants converge in a mutually acceptable place it's all good. My obligation to you is to set out exactly what my expectations are and yours are to provide them. If not, I'm not going to be the one leaving.

I've always agonized for weeks over laying someone off who's work was good but sales were slow and I had to cut costs beyond what my own income could bear, but I never hesitated to fire a slacker who made others carry his load.

We built a govt. over time that's Ronco: set it and forget it. The bad news is that most of it can be laid at our own feet because we haven't held anyone to account. Why should they? They aren't any different than us. They ARE us.

Big business owns the Hill? Sure they do. We let our reps. pass the laws that let them. Regulatory capture by unelected Executive Branch? We vote for the people on the Oversight Committees that watch them or not.

Granted, you naysayers have a point. We may be fucked beyond repair, and another good excuse is the people before us were just as complicit in avoiding their obligations too. Fine again. I'm going back as far as 1913, as that turned out to be a particularly bad year for napping on the job as present events show us.

But, for me, this USA business is the only one I got and I'll hand out pinkslips left, right and center because I ain't going to be the one leaving.

Call, write or e-mail your Reps and Senators often. Let them know YOU know how they are voting and that you're following their moves and that if they go the wrong way, not only will they lose your vote but you will become active to remove them next term. You might be surprised if you write often while being respectful and not dragging out the rope first. It's how I met my rep when he walked in my business to thank me for my input. (no doubt doing some flesh pressing as well) While a Democrat, if he were in San Fransisco or Cambridge Ma. he would be considered a far right winger. A real nice guy who lives 15 miles up the road with a farm and a family like many others around here. We don't agree on everything, but that's ok. He seriously wants to do the right thing by everyone and knows full well  the trouble we are in. (far more, I'm sure, than he's willing to say). I'm sad to see him retired as he had integrity of character and a formidable intellect while having a plain speaking nature.

It ain't much but it's what we got and it's a damn sight more productive than yakking about hanging everyone while sitting on yer ass even though its fun.

Sunday sermon concluded. Dominus vobiscum.




kchrisc's picture

I "up-ed" you for the effort and sentiment, but the DC US is operating way outside the bounds of the Constitution, and therefore is criminal.

Any pol or crat that is worth his weight would quit.

Or put another way: I an accountant for a criminal syndicate any less guilty than the mobsters themselves?!

Bemused Observer's picture

They're creating a Potemkin Village of jobs. They're all just facade, no one actually WORKS at them. The numbers are to impress the muppet tourists, who never look beyond the surface, and to create an optimistic, positive illusion to keep the markets chipper. But everyone in fact works 'underground' for their REAL living and the cream of the labor market is quietly removing itself from the "labor pool" that the economy of TPTB depend on. Off the financial grid. Which means a bit of a problem with TPTB's projected tax revenue figures...Meanwhile the quality of labor that IS still willing to be wage-slaves goes down as the ones that CAN, leave to fly solo, and eventually the cubicle-farms of many companies will resemble either daycare programs for the mentally challenged, UN refugee camps, or Ft. Lauderdale during Spring Break. 

Maybe then things swing the other way, and CEO's will rule over ever-shrinking kingdoms of high maintainance but no skills wage-slaves, as the wealth of working men outside "the company" begins to increase. And being both untaxable and too spread out all over the place, there'd be no way to capture it and steal it back, not very easily anyway...a logistical nightmare. So the working class could actually accumulate something for a change just by default.

Hey, it COULD happen. we've seen a spike towards the ones at the top, very dramatic too. It could move just dramatically the other way given the right impetus and circumstances.  And there's no reason the so-called 1% have to be the ones with all the wealth. It's only hyper-concentrated because of the flaws in the system that move it around the economy. Wealth itself has no 'natural tendency' to go to the top and stay there, and is just as happy spread out over many as it is hoarded by few. If labor decides to take their toys and go home to work for themselves, and they decide to use the cash-changes-hands system to handle their payroll and expenses, it would completely re-route the flow of the life-giving waters, so to speak. Into a thousand tiny streamlets that soak in before they can be seized back by the river-taxers who want it all for themselves.

With wealth production too scattered to corral into big, controlled 'herds' and too spread out to harvest in any useful amount successfully, the financial industries would be unable to Hoover-up enough wealth all at once so as to unbalance the whole system. And they'd have to work harder for what they DO get. And government's payroll tax siphon would finally start sucking air...

Maybe the technology that left so many unemployed will end up being their salvation by giving them the means and methods and information to trade their skills outside the traditional job market and out of the taxman's reach, and they will have the last laugh...Be funny if that happened, and their tax reciepts are telling them that nobody is working, but citizens keep pulling up in new Cadillacs and wearing mink like the gangster's girlfriend in Goodfellas when they were told to "lay low" after the heist...



kchrisc's picture

Good stuff.

I think that it starts with the American people's most potent weapon: Stop paying--debt and then taxes. Stop paying the on the student loans, the mortgage, the credit cards, the car payment, etc. Then stop paying taxes, all of them.

When we quit paying, the whole system will quickly come to a halt and then fall like the house of cards it is.


Sidenote: If you are unable or unwilling to stop paying them now, then don't, but please don't inundate me with excuses. However, remember that one day you WON'T be able to pay them, but by then you will be much less wealthier than you are now, and they will be wealthier with your wealth.

Mr. Ed's picture

Well said, Bemused!


I often think about processes that would end in similar types of decentralization... what a different world it would be!

Let me throw in a few societal changes that would facilitate this: 

  a) drastic shifts in consumption patterns away from mass manufactured goods,

  b) a shift in entertainment tastes,

  c) a willingness in people to self-educate, especially toward survival (as a form of entertainment!!!)

BernankeHasHemorrhoids's picture

Can we have televised executions of banksters? I would like to see all the executives at all the big banks tortured and executed on TV. In fact I would volunteer as one of the executioners and delight in ripping the balls off Jamie Dimon or cutting off his nose or his ears while he begged for mercy.

kchrisc's picture

Build a guillotine.

"Build guillotine, use local."

kchrisc's picture

"Do your patriotic duty and quit your job. Together, we can get the unemployment rate down to zero. Your DC US government."


"Guillotines can get government employment down to zero as well."

Aussiekiwi's picture

And yet, you all still go on voting for red or blue......habit I guess.

BeetleBailey's picture

told to...shamed into....a "right" to....too bad it really....really...doesn't count

Racer's picture

If you are presented with no other choice what do you do?

kurt's picture

The day nears. Disconnect the TV, goodbye internets

Goodbye irritating truth

g'kar's picture

I'm with you. Comforting huh.

xavi1951's picture

The Jobs numbers are a farce!  They have been fixed for years.

The rest of the story (Links at the bottom), is just an ad for the blog.



IREN Colorado's picture

I have no confidence that the BLS data is accurate. I would not be surprised to learn that there are actually 120 million no longer looking for work and the real unemployment rate is about 19%.


cynicalskeptic's picture

REAL unemployment is 24% - worse than the 1932 peak of the Great Depression.  


gov statistics calculated the way they USED to calculate them - CPI and GDP as well.

Landrew's picture

120 million would be 100% unemployment

xavi1951's picture

Actually it is closer to 313 million.  Allow for under and over age for employment and it might be possible to have 120 unemployed without being at 100%. 

captain whitewater's picture

Leave it to a lying and completely dishonest government with the able assistance from MSM to make it all just look right...until you dissect the numbers to find the truth!  Obama sucks.

TheMerryPrankster's picture

I see more beggars and more women beggars at freeway off ramps and entrances to strip malls.

I see beggars where in an affluent county where you normally see shriners with buckets begging for money, now it is old guys in wheelchairs and women with dogs, all with signs with sob stories.

I see an indian woman about in her 30's begging because she has lost her job at the entrance to the local Target.

I don't see an economic recovery. I don't see green shoots. I see a depression.

pitz's picture

Remember that April is H-1B month.  Over 100,000 H-1B work visas are granted each year for high-skilled workers (despite Americans existing in a significant plurality to such).  So the jobs that are being "created" most certainly are not going to Americans. 

Reaper's picture

It doesn't matter how many are rowing the boat; it's how hard the remaining slaves will actually pull on their oars, when there's equal food and drink if you give up rowing.

Pure Evil's picture

Maybe so, but they were touting the new economic recovery last night on the nightly news.

Seems someone broke a window and there was a flurry of economic activity because of it.

ILLILLILLI's picture

Zorg is firing 1,000,000 to reduce the overheating in the economy.

Kprime's picture

nice fifth element,  +5 for that.

CaptainSpaulding's picture

But but... That funny Cnbc man with the bald head said its all good. ( Hint: Rhymes with Kramer ). It's all good

Buck Johnson's picture

They are just trying to find out who to blame the next economic collapse on before it happens.

xavi1951's picture

Well 47% of people polled still blame Bush for the economy (Obama inherited it) according to a new WSJ poll.

Democrats on the Government dole......

cynicalskeptic's picture

get past the kabuki blue/red farce.....  it exists to let you think you have a 'choice' - keeps you preoccupied with things that really DON't fundamentally matter while your 'representatives' serve the rich and powerful - ignoring those that elected them.


BOTH political parties have been compicit in the massive offshoring of US jobs.  BOTH political parties have pushed 'free trade'.

A few warned of the consequences (remember Perot?).  One of the most prescient warnings was here:

philipat's picture

That would be the same 47% who don't pay any Federal Income taxes (Aka the FSA)??

Singelguy's picture

I think Putin is being set up as the scape goat.

MFL8240's picture

 You are right on point!

new game's picture

lol, one big ass that water on down the road?

hidingfromhelis's picture

Let's take it a step further and just blame the Russian weather.

RevRex's picture

They said the same thing on America's number one news outlet, "Dancing With The Stars".......

ptoemmes's picture

No doubt the dancers are considered employed.

kaiserhoff's picture

It's like this.

When GF gives you a blow job, she has a job, and you just got one.

Ze problem, it is solve-ed.

        Hercule Perot

philipat's picture

And of the 288K jobs created, 245K were "estimated" using the BLSBS "Birth/Death" model, which is essentially an open-ended fudge factor which gets adjusted (Always downwards) at the end of each year, by when nobody actually cares any longer. Just more of the same old, same old....

new game's picture

think of this as "important as the validity of gub numbers" fucken fucked  fuckers...