We are being told that today’s jobs report is good news, and that the uptick in unemployment (to 9.9%) is okay because it’s being caused by people re-entering the labor market. Even some on the right are saying this.
But that story doesn’t seem to wash. If it were true, you would expect to see some improvement in the broader “U-6” measure of unemployment. U-6 includes “marginally attached” workers (those who would like to be working but aren’t looking right now, which includes but is not limited to discouraged workers) and those who are working part-time because they couldn’t find full-time work. In fact, U-6 worsened for the third straight month. U-4 and U-5 (measures in between the official rate and U-6) also worsened.