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Some Recovery: Two Million Fewer Americans Are Employed Than Were a Year Ago

Clarence Tabb, Jr./Rapport Press/Newscom

Stephen Moore

Heritage: The Foundry

This is supposed to be the fifth year of an economic “recovery,” but the jobs numbers continue to badly underperform. In February, U.S. employers added 175,000 workers to their payrolls, but that’s still below the 200,000 to 250,000 a month we need to bring down the real unemployment rate and to keep pace with young people entering the workforce.

But the employment anemia is still plaguing the U.S. economy. The labor force participation rate (63 percent) remains stuck at or near its lowest point since the late 1970s when the Bee Gees were the hottest music group in America. Amazingly, there are more than 2 million FEWER Americans in the labor force today than one year ago. Usually recoveries bring more Americans into the workforce.

Another troubling sign: weekly hours worked dipped by 0.2 hours in February. How much the record snow and cold impacted these numbers is yet undetermined.

The number of long term unemployed (six months or more) also rose by 203,000. Americans who lose their jobs are having a very hard time finding new ones.

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