The unemployment rate dropped .1% to 8.1% in April. Although this appears to be good news, it seems many of these people dropped out of the measured labor force. There were 115,000 new jobs added to the economy in April, but that is not enough to account for a .1% drop. The employment-population ratio dropped .1% to 58.4% while the labor force participation rate dropped .2% to 63.6%. Of particular concern is the number of people unemployed for six months or longer which dropped 207,000 this month. Since far more people went off unemployment than got jobs and the participation rate dropped, many of these long-term unemployed have now simply dropped out of the economy.
For more information see our Employment Report.
–From the BLS and the St. Louis Federal Reserve