Zachary Karabell for The Daily Beast: The Monthly Jobs Numbers Don’t Matter

May 4th, 2012

The Daily Beast
May 4, 2012
By Zachary Karabell

Today’s anemic jobs report is yet another indication that the unemployment picture in the United States is getting neither better nor worse. It is also yet another piece of evidence that there is a chronic, long-term structural employment issue in America. It is not an acute crisis; it isn’t getting much worse; and it isn’t going away anytime soon.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 115,000 jobs were added in April, and the official unemployment rate declined a shade, from 8.2 percent to 8.1 percent. More than 5 million people have been unemployed for more than six months—half of all those without jobs—which is about the same as it has been for some time. In most key respects, the numbers were little changed from a month ago, which were in turn little changed from the month before that. If you read through the government’s release, you will find the phrase “little changed” repeated multiple times.

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