Press Releases | Jobs and Unemployment

News from EPI Unemployment is down over last two years because labor force shrank

For Immediate Release: Thursday, December 8, 2011
Contact: Phoebe Silag or Karen Conner, news@epi.org 202-775-8810

Unemployment is down over last two years because labor force shrank

Unemployment in November dipped to 8.6 percent, its lowest point since March 2009, because the share of the population seeking work or working has fallen considerably. Today’s Snapshot explains that since the share of the population employed last month—58.5 percent— is the same as when the unemployment rate peaked, the growth in employment has only kept pace with the growth of the working-age population. The figure shows the erosion in the labor force participation rate for people age 25 and older by education level.