Dollars and Jens
Friday, July 02, 2010
Employment report
The household survey shows a big drop in the participation rate, with both the number of employed people and the number of unemployed people in the labor force dropping by about 300,000 people. (The payroll survey showed a smaller decrease in the number of jobs, with an increase in the number of private sector jobs; note that a lot of census jobs disappeared between May 12 and June 12.)

This is all seasonally adjusted, incidentally. I would imagine if the unemployment rate (which dropped to 9.5%) works its way down below 9% that the participation rate will start working its way back up. I wonder to what extent the drop in participation rate is connected to the long-term unemployed losing their unemployment benefits; it's certainly easier to keep looking (without success) for a job when you're getting paid to do so. (It's possible, contra what I said earlier, that the people dropping out of the work force are disproportionately not the sort who would be at the top of any employers' lists for new hiring; if they know that, they might stay out of the labor market until the rate drifts closer to 7% or 6%.)

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