Much is being made of how the unemployment rate has dropped to only 3.6 percent under Biden’s watch. That number isn’t an indication of a healthy job market. In fact, it’s misleading bullshit.
To understand why, you have to understand what unemployment is measuring. The unemployment rate only measures the number of people who are out of work despite their best efforts to find gainful employment. The labor department assumes that anyone who has been out of work for longer than 6 months isn’t looking for work, so excludes them from the calculation.
To get a more accurate measure of how the labor market is doing, look at the labor force participation rate, as published by the Fed. That is a measurement of the percentage of those who are not in the military or in prison and who are actually employed or actively looking for work.
For June of 2022, that number stands at 62.2. Granted, it was lower during the pandemic lockdowns (April 2020 to November 2021), but that was because the government was actively prohibiting people from working. Even then, the participation rate never fell below 60 percent.
Other than that time period, the last time you can find a participation rate of 62.2 or less was May of 1977. Before that, the labor force participation rate was lower (in the 50’s and 60’s), but there is a HUGE reason for that: women were part of the labor force, but most of them were stay at home housewives and were not participating because they were not working or looking for work.
What this means is that this President has a lower labor force participation rate of any US President since we began measuring it.