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The Hidden Truth Behind US Unemployment Statistics

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The number of Americans who are out-of-work is declining. Down from 5.3% in July 2015 to 4.9% in July 2016. That’s great news, right? It means our economy is booming again, adding more and more jobs to the workforce to produce the lowest unemployment rate since 2007. Wrong.

The U.S economy is growing, that’s true. The healthcare and hospitality industries, as well as the civil service, all did their bit when it came to job creation, and were three of the biggest contributors to the 38,000 new jobs created in May of this year. That might sound like a lot of new work, but it’s actually the lowest monthly job gain since 2010. Yes, the economy is growing, but it’s not growing nearly fast enough. 

So, why did the unemployment rate fall? The short answer is that people gave up. If you’re not actively looking for work, you’re not part of the labor force. Those who stopped searching dropped out of the equation altogether, and the unemployment rate fell.
But they’re not the only ones we’re failing. The latest estimates suggest that 6.4 million people (nearly as many as are unemployed), work part-time but want full-time hours. That figure has risen around 30% since the recession. In short, it’s more than just the unemployed teetering on the edges of poverty.

If we want to drive that unemployment figure down – really lower it, not just reduce the number of people we count – then we need to create more jobs. We need to support young businesses and encourage entrepreneurship. Our traditional industries are failing us; we need new ones. 

The responsibility for industry growth doesn’t lie solely with the government. As consumers, we have the power to drive real change, to make sure families don’t fall below the poverty line and veterans don’t starve on the streets. Whether you buy local produce, support U.S businesses, or crowdfund startups; you have the power to create new jobs and end unemployment.

The number of Americans who are out-of-work is declining. Down from 5.3% in July 2015 to 4.9% in July 2016. That’s great news, right? It means our economy is booming again, adding more and more jobs to the workforce to produce the lowest unemployment rate since 2007. Wrong.

The U.S economy is growing, that’s true. The healthcare and hospitality industries, as well as the civil service, all did their bit when it came to job creation, and were three of the biggest contributors to the 38,000 new jobs created in May of this year. That might sound like a lot of new work, but it’s actually the lowest monthly job gain since 2010. Yes, the economy is growing, but it’s not growing nearly fast enough. 

So, why did the unemployment rate fall? The short answer is that people gave up. If you’re not actively looking for work, you’re not part of the labor force. Those who stopped searching dropped out of the equation altogether, and the unemployment rate fell.
But they’re not the only ones we’re failing. The latest estimates suggest that 6.4 million people (nearly as many as are unemployed), work part-time but want full-time hours. That figure has risen around 30% since the recession. In short, it’s more than just the unemployed teetering on the edges of poverty.

If we want to drive that unemployment figure down – really lower it, not just reduce the number of people we count – then we need to create more jobs. We need to support young businesses and encourage entrepreneurship. Our traditional industries are failing us; we need new ones. 

The responsibility for industry growth doesn’t lie solely with the government. As consumers, we have the power to drive real change, to make sure families don’t fall below the poverty line and veterans don’t starve on the streets. Whether you buy local produce, support U.S businesses, or crowdfund startups; you have the power to create new jobs and end unemployment.

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