Unemployment shot up to an official 9.2% as Barack Obama failed to magically create millions of new jobs via Twitter the other day. The real rate, depending on which real rate you like, is somewhere between 11% and 25%. So, no jobs for anyone, ever. The stock markets reacted by briefly going into freefall, but then investors realized it doesn’t much matter to them if one-tenth or even one-third of the workforce is unemployed forever, so stocks recovered most of the losses by afternoon. Twitter, meanwhile, is now valued at something like SEVEN BILLION DOLLARS, so hooray?
As a result of the latest exodus from the labor force, the participation rate fell to a 27-year low of 64.1%. The employment-to-population ratio fell to 58.2, from 58.4, matching the lows set in December 2009 and then November 2010. The upshot is that exactly two years after the recovery began, broad labor market conditions haven’t improved at all.