Chart: The Few, The Proud, The Employed Americans (It’s Actually Worse Than You Think)

Chart: The Few, The Proud, The Employed Americans (It’s Actually Worse Than You Think)

From The Atlantic.

Even though the unemployment rate is technically 9.2%, the employment-population ratio fell to 58.2%, matching its recession low. But it might help to put this number into perspective: just how bad is it?

…Prior to this recession, the unemployment-population ratio hasn’t been this low since 1983. At that time, it actually dropped all the way down to around 57%. But it didn’t have as far to fall, having maxed out at just 60% in the years prior. Prior to the recent recession, the ratio was above 63%.

What this is going to mean, in real terms, is that as more jobs are created, a lot of people who’ve given up on getting a job and currently aren’t being counted as part of the unemployment rate, are going to start looking. That means that the unemployment rate is going to stay fairly high for quite a while. That’s bad for the people who are impacted, bad for the country, and bad for Obama’s election prospects in 2012.

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