I predict that despite what the real numbers show us about a very weak and struggling economy, the Obama administration will tout the unemployment rate dropping to 8.1% as a huge victory of a recovering economy, despite it being due to more people being dropped from the labor force:
CBS NEWS – U.S. employers pulled back on hiring in April for the second straight month, a sobering reminder that the economy remains weak. The unemployment rate fell to 8.1 percent, but only because more people gave up looking for work.
The Labor Department said Friday that the economy added just 115,000 jobs in April. That’s below March’s upwardly revised 154,000 jobs and far fewer than the pace from earlier this year.
The unemployment rate has fallen a full percentage point since August to a three-year low. But last month’s decline was not due to job growth. The government only counts people as unemployed if they are actively looking for work.
In April, the percentage of adults working or looking for work fell to the lowest level in more than 30 years.
Employers added an average of 252,000 jobs per month from December through February, a burst of hiring that raised hopes the economy would accelerate. But job gains have averaged only 135,000 in the two months since then.
The slowdown will heighten fears that high gas prices and sluggish income growth are weighing on the broader economy.