Press Releases | Jobs and Unemployment

News from EPI Job growth slowed, so why did the unemployment rate drop?

For Immediate Release: Friday, April 6, 2012
Contact:
Phoebe Silag or Karen Conner, news@epi.org 202-775-8810

Job growth slowed, so why did the unemployment rate drop?

The March 2012 employment situation report was a negative surprise and underscored the fact that a robust jobs recovery has not yet solidified.  Nonetheless, the unemployment rate managed to tick down by one-tenth of a percent to 8.2 percent in March. In today’s Jobs Picture, EPI economist Heidi Shierholz explains the drop in the unemployment rate was largely due to people dropping out of the labor force, not an increase in the share of the working-age population with jobs. As a reminder of what a healthy unemployment rate looks like, consider that five years ago, in March 2007, the unemployment rate stood at 4.4 percent, and 12 years ago, in March 2000, the unemployment rate was 4.0 percent.  Click here for full analysis.