Good Jobs Numbers, But What About Population Growth?

Friday, February 3rd, 2012 and is filed under Blog

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By all objective standards, the numbers for jobs creation reported by the BLS today are good.  Another 243,000 jobs were created, and they were all in the private sector.  However, there is another important factor to explicate.  Is the job growth keeping up with our rapidly expanding population?

The numbers are a bit hard to track because the BLS updated their population figures for the new year to reflect the changes from the census.  So the workforce population now stands at 242.269 million, up about 1.7 million from last month.  Now obviously the population didn’t grow by 1.7 million in one month; those numbers reflect updated data from the BLS.  But still, it is clear that the population is a lot larger than previously thought.  As such, there are now 1.2 million more people who are not in the labor force relative to the population.  The labor participation force rate now stands at 63.7%, the lowest in years.  That is a very unhealthy labor force.

Bonus point:  What would the jobless rate be if the labor force participation rate would be at the same level it was when Obama took office?  11%

Here is everything you need to know about the labor force in one chart: