Today, we got the laughable news that the unemployment rate declined even as those not in the labor force grew by over 660,000, while the total civilian non-institutional population grew by just 167,000 to 244,995, meaning the actual labor force declined by 496,000. Which is precisely the issue: fudging the labor force participation rate is how the Obama administration has managed to maintain the myth the economy has grown under his leadership for the past 4+ years. It hasn't, and in fact if one renormalizes for the recent long-term average participation rate of 65.8%, one gets a very different number. How different? A difference that is now at a record compared to what is reported. As the chart below shows, a "renormalization" process indicates a massive and record 4% difference between the reported unemployment rate of 7.6%, and what the real unemployment rate is assuming normal growth of the labor force, which in March was 11.6%, up from 11.3% in February, and the highest since August 2012 when it was 11.7%. More importantly, as the real unemployment chart shows, the economy has not improved by one bit since 2009!
Real March Unemployment Rate: 11.6%
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