Contrary to spin, unemployment is not leveling off

Several mainstream media reports spin the latest unemployment numbers as suggesting that the economy is shedding jobs at a reduced pace. Graphs available on reveal a more nuanced picture of more people seeking work, perhaps because more people are having trouble finding it, and fewer hours worked among those who remain employed.

The proportion of the population included in the labor force in April rose marginally to 65.77 percent from 65.65 percent in the previous month, an increase of 0.66 percent. The proportion employed decreased to 59.93 percent, a drop of 0.768 percent from March. The proportion of the population (not the labor force) which the Bureau of Labor Statistics counts as unemployed increased to 5.83 percent, an increase of 18.147 percent. The increase from February to March, by contrast, was 12.234 percent.

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