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Right Hooks

Unemployment Headlines Still Rosy, but a Closer Look...

Mar. 6, 2015

In February, the U.S. labor market did not lay the foundation for long-term economic growth. Sure, the banner numbers – the U-3 measure of unemployment and the number of jobs added – continued to indicate that the American economy is expanding. Here’s what the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported: “Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 295,000 in February, and the unemployment rate edged down to 5.5 percent … Job gains occurred in food services and drinking places, professional and business services, construction, health care, and in transportation and warehousing.” The better measure of unemployment, the U-6, edged down to 11% and the civilian labor force participation rate changed little at 62.8%. But troubling is where most of the job gains occurred. Jobs in the food service and drinking industries don’t contribute to long-term growth – they are as permanent as a burger with a side of fries. More…

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