How to Really Analyze US Employment Numbers

Unemployment Rate vs Total Employment
Yes - the unemployment rate fell to 8.6 percent in November, but it also masks a startling shift in the job market. The Labor Department said Friday that employers added 120,000 jobs last month. With that, the unemployment rate dropped to the lowest level in more than two and a half years.

But a key reason for the drop was that hundreds of thousands of people who could work had stopped looking for work. The report showed 487,000 people left the labor force in November -- for the Labor Department's purposes, they are not counted as unemployed.
What's important is total employment, which has barely budged. This means we're still facing a NET LOSS of over 2 million jobs since president Obama took office in 2009 - an absolutely abysmal performance, considering all the taxpayer money the government has thrown at the problem.


Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

The above chart simply takes the total US employment number by month from 1/1/2001 through 11/1/2011, and divides that by the total US population for the same period.

Don’t let them tell you we’re “adding jobs”. We’re not.


  1. Could decline of employment ratio be explained by an aging population?

  2. tells the story. Unemployment per number pre Bill Clinton are actually about 24%.

    Inflation is around 7%.

  3. @Dennis
    I suppose that's a factor. But I think the real decline (which accelerates starting in 2009) is due to lack of creation of new jobs. Population's going up, job growth not keeping up with it.


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