Press Releases | Jobs and Unemployment

News from EPI Why falling unemployment rate may not make voters happy

For Immediate Release: Friday, December 2, 2011
Contact: Phoebe Silag or Karen Conner, news@epi.org 202-775-8810

From Working Economics, the EPI blog:

Why falling unemployment rate may not make voters happy

by Lawrence Mishel, President, Economic Policy Institute

The unemployment rate dropped in November to 8.6 percent from 9.0 percent in October and from 9.8 percent a year ago. This is clearly welcome news. However, the underlying dynamics of the drop-off in unemployment this last month and over the last year are disappointing and have clear implications for policy and for politicians. The issue is a decline in labor force participation.

The fall in unemployment has been driven by people leaving the labor force and not because of job gains. Those leaving the labor force have a high school credential, some college, or a college degree or further education and are among the groups with high voter turnout rates

The bottom line is that the fall in unemployment looks good but it is very likely leaving a broad swath of the electorate not feeling very good. Read full blog post.