We'll probably have to wait until we get rid of all the Census and seasonality noise to fully understand the way the labor market is evolving. But the narrative essentially sounds something like: job growth wasn't quite as strong as we thought it was during the spring, and probably won't be as resilient as we hoped it would be during the summer. With private sector jobs continuing to grow, though at a crawl, at least we're on the right path. It's just going to be a slow recovery for employment.
Unemployment dropped sharply, to 9.5%. But why?...If people are just giving up and removing themselves from the workforce, then a falling unemployment rate only serves to hide the bad news. What’s more, the only important statistical decline in the unemployment rate was among white women, who already have lower unemployment than just about anybody else. The rest of the country including, crucially, men overall was pretty much unchanged.
The overall picture isn’t so much of a double-dip recession as it is of a badly wounded economy recovering at a slow pace.
Calculated Risk digs into the details.
(Image via Ezra Klein)