Unemployment Falls to 8.1% in April as Labor Force Participation Falls to 63.6%
A Bureau of Labor Statistics report today shows that the U.S. unemployment fell to 8.1% in April.
However, the Labor Force Participation rate also fell, to 63.6%, the lowest it has been since December 1981.
The Washington Dispatch began tracking the current employment recovery against that following the 1980s recovery with the release of January 2012 unemployment and labor force participation figures earlier this year. In February, Labor Force Participation rose slightly. March marked a return to the overall trend of declining Labor Force Participation, which continued in April and has been the primary driving force behind falling unemployment. Compare the current trend with that of the 1980s recovery:
Since unemployment peaked at 10% in October 2009, its decline has mirrored the decline in Labor Force Participation. Looking at the same period of time following peak unemployment of 10.8% in December 1982, Labor Force Participation rose while unemployment fell.
Despite this trend, the Obama administration continues to embrace failed Keynesian ideology and refuses to embrace reality and pursue those policies which have proven successful in the past.
The mean duration of unemployment continues to hover near its all-time high, currently at 39.1 weeks:
U6 Unemployment, which also counts marginally attached workers and those who are employed only part-time for economic reasons, remained at 14.5% for the second month in a row:
Despite being more accurate than the U3 rate, the U6 unemployment rate still fails to accurately portray the current employment picture, as long-term discouraged workers are not included. Were these individuals, whose numbers are growing by the millions, counted, the unemployment rate would be well over 20%, and unlike the U3 and U6 rates, would show no discernible improvement at all over the past few years according to economist John Williams (chart courtesy of Shadow Government Statistics):