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News from EPI What the unemployment rate says about the recovery

For Immediate Release: Friday, June 3, 2011
Contact: Phoebe Silag or Karen Conner, 202-775-8810

What the unemployment rate says about the recovery

The rising unemployment rate over the past two months is an indicator that the economic recovery is on pause.  But further analysis of labor force trends in today’s Jobs Picture, by EPI economist Heidi Shierholz, shows signs of an even weaker economy.  The improvement in the unemployment rate over the last year (from 9.6% to 9.1%) is deceptive:  the lower unemployment rate is due to would-be workers deciding to drop out or not enter the labor market because of the frustrating scramble for a job.   If these workers were in the labor force and were unemployed, the unemployment rate would be 10.1% right now, instead of 9.1%.  Click here for full Jobs Picture analysis.

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