September 7, 2012
By Rea S. Hederman, Jr.
The monthly employment report is once again rather depressing. The unemployment rate fell only because of a sharp decline in the labor-force-participation rate. The participation rate hit the lowest level in 31 years, which is stunning considering that, historically, the participation rate climbs at this stage in the recovery. While teens returning to school had some effect because it appears that the labor models have not yet factored in how bad the labor market is for youth, a more important story is that the adult male labor-force-participation rate hit a new all-time low (since the government started collecting the number in 1948).
Other numbers in this report continue to indicate a weak labor market: Downward revisions to previous reports reduced previous job growth by 41,000; average wages actually declined in August, as did the number of temporary help and manufacturing workers.
This report simply confirms that there is no real recovery in the labor market. Job gains are scarce and many potential workers are not even trying to find jobs. It is doubtful that robust labor-market gains are in the future given the massive tax increases slated for 2013; businesses already are adjusting their investment plans because of the fiscal cliff.
First appeared in National Review Online's "The Corner."
Rea S. Hederman, Jr.
Director, Center for Data Analysis and Lazof Family Fellow
Read More >>
Heritage's daily Morning Bell e-mail keeps you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.
The subscription is free and delivers you the latest conservative policy perspectives on the news each weekday--straight from Heritage experts.
The Morning Bell is your daily wake-up call offering a fresh, conservative analysis of the news.
More than 450,000 Americans rely on Heritage's Morning Bell to stay up to date on the policy battles that affect them.
Rush Limbaugh says "The Heritage Foundation's Morning Bell is just terrific!"
Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL) says it's "a great way to start the day for any conservative who wants to get America back on track."
Sign up to start your free subscription today!
The Heritage Foundation is the nation’s most broadly supported public policy research institute, with hundreds of thousands of individual, foundation and corporate donors. Heritage, founded in February 1973, has a staff of 275 and an annual expense budget of $82.4 million.
Our mission is to formulate and promote conservative public policies based on the principles of free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong national defense. Read More
© 2015, The Heritage Foundation Conservative policy research since 1973