Lower unemployment masks a problem

Job seekers
Job seekers sat at computers looking for jobs available at a Workforce One Employment Solutions center on Jan. 7, 2014, in North Miami, Florida.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The recent drop in the unemployment rate may not be quite the good news it appears. From the Wall Street Journal:

A big puzzle looms over the U.S. economy: [Last month's] jobs report tells us that the unemployment rate has fallen to 6.7% from a peak of 10% at the height of the Great Recession. But at the same time, only 63.2% of Americans 16 or older are participating in the labor force, which, while up a bit in March, is down substantially since 2000. As recently as the late 1990s, the U.S. was a nation in which employment, job creation and labor force participation went hand in hand. That is no longer the case.

We discuss the state of the U.S. labor market and unemployment numbers. Does the unemployment rate only appear to be shrinking because fewer people are participating in the workforce? What kind of recovery have we really made in the last six years?

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