On Friday April 6 the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) will report the March unemployment numbers. We should be reminded again that it does not even come close to painting the real picture of what's going on. Regardless of the results the democrats have only one way to spin it and as much as we like to hear positive news when it comes to the economy, it still smells fishy. The four week moving average for new claims according to the BLS is 365,000 vs. 401,000 for the same period in 2011.
The December unemployment rate was 8.7% and dropped to 8.3% for January and February. This only tells part of the story as 1.2 million employable people dropped off the radar or just stopped looking. The participation rate which measures the labor force as a percent of the civilian noninstitutional population climbed slightly to 63.9% in February from 63.7% in January. The participation rate is the lowest since 1984. In the 2011 the civilian population rose by almost 3.6 million, yet the labor force only rose 1.1 million. Those not in the labor force rose by almost 2.5 million. If people were not dropping out of the labor force the unemployment rate would be well over 11%. According to Gallup, the underemployment rate is hovering around 18%.
It will come as no surprise to anyone that at the rate we are creating jobs it will be at least three years before we even come close to creating enough jobs to get it down to the level of the Bush years (4.0 to 5.8%) (BLS). Gallup is predicting a rate of 8.6% and In-Trade is looking at 8.8% for March 2012. This will not be good news for the Obama Administration who is coming off a week of missteps, misspeaks and blunders. One can only wonder when the hemorrhaging is going to stop.