It ain't what it appears to be. The rate of unemployment here in the USA dropped significantly last month, mostly because hundreds of thousands of Americans decided to no longer even consider themselves unemployed. They simply walked off into the sunset:
Economy Creates 120,000 Jobs, Rate Tumbles to 8.6%The rate dropped from 9.0% to 8.6% because the "participation rate" dropped to 64.0% from 64.2%, with the actual employment level increasing to 278,000, bringing the total amount of those without a job down to 13.3 million, a number that would reflect an 8.8% unemployment rate had it not been for ...
By Jeff Cox, CNBC
Job creation remained weak in the U.S. during November, with just 120,000 new positions created, though the unemployment rate slid to 8.6 percent, a government report showed Friday.
The rate fell from the previous month's 9.0 percent, a move which in part reflected a drop in those looking for jobs. The participation rate dropped to 64 percent, from 64.2 percent in October, representing 315,000 fewer job-seekers.
The actual employment level increased by 278,000. The total amount of those without a job fell to 13.3 million.
The drop in participation rate is significant in that had the labor force remained steady, the jobless rate would have dropped to 8.8 percent, according to Citigroup calculations. If the labor force had followed trend growth, unemployment would be at 8.9 percent. [link]
An explanation that only a statistician could love.
At the rate we're going, America will reach zero unemployment soon. And we'll all be on the bread line.
Find anything odd in that?