As the months go by, it is becoming clear that the Federal Reserve's "QE3" program, which is supposed to be "doing something" about unemployment, is having the exact opposite effect. We can only wonder how long it will take Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke to realize this.
Friday's "Employment Situation" report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) was really, really, really bad. The reported 0.1 percentage point decline in the "headline" unemployment rate (from 7.7% to 7.6%) fooled no one. Total employment actually fell by 206,000. The only reason that the reported unemployment rate went down was because 496,000 Americans gave up on looking for jobs.
The most striking feature of President Obama's so-called "economic recovery" has been the exodus of Americans from the labor force. The unprecedented 2.5 percentage point decline in labor force participation under Obama amounts to 6.2 million Americans being pushed out of the job market.
If labor force participation had remained at the level it was when George W. Bush left office (65.8%), the unemployment rate for March would have been reported at 11.1%, up 0.2 percentage points from February. This amounts to a 3.1 percentage point rise during Obama's presidency, 1.4 percentage points of which occurred since the start of our so-called "economic recovery" in June 2009.