Politics When Good News is Bad: Unemployment Rate Drops as Workers Bolt Labor Force



“The participation rate going down makes the unemployment rate look better than it is, but it doesn’t really say anything for the recovery,” said Peter Morici, a professor at the Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland School.

With the unemployment rate hovering at 9.1. percent, down one-tenth of a percent from June, the report showed 13.9 million unemployed people, 6.2 million who have been out of work for more than six months.

Also telling is the 63.9 percent of the civilian labor force — or 153.2 million people — that is working. That’s the lowest ratio of employed-to-unemployed civilians since January 1984. The employment-to-population ratio hit 58.1 percent, the lowest percentage since July 1983.

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