Proposing a Contentious Non-Economic Reason for the Huge Jump in the Labor Force

by Jeffrey P. Snider
Alhambra Partners

The most troubling aspect of the payroll reports month after month through the “best jobs market in decades” was how the counted labor force seemed so entirely apathetic to it. If jobs were suddenly plentiful, it would stand to reason that Americans and the deep pool of them sidelined since the Great Recession would be lining up to participate. Because that didn’t happen, questions about the validity of the headline Establishment Survey numbers and the unemployment rate were included within those very same monthly updates.

That all suddenly changed with the October 2015 release. All of a sudden, the labor force shockingly and sharply came to life, with more than 2 million joining up in only a condensed six-month period through March 2016.

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