February 4, 2011

What the latest unemployment numbers say about the economy

Bruce Yandle

Distinguished Adjunct Fellow

Reports today show a drop in an unemployment, but low growth in job creation.  These numbers show us that there is a decline in the number of people in the workforce.

This data may be telling us that households are redefining how they live.  Instead of having two people in the house working, you have people saying "My new job is House Dad".

It’s important to look at the unemployment numbers for specific groups of people.

The unemployment number for people over the age of 25 is 7.6 percent, and drops to 4.2 percent if they have a bachelor’s degree.  “This means that the chief groups with unemployment are those lacking educational credentials, and those under the age of 25.”