St. Louis Fed’s “Not In Labor Force” Data Is Now Officially Off The Chart

May 4th, 2012 07:31 by News

04-May (ZeroHedge) — The comedy continues: the April “Not in labor force” seasonally adjusted print: 88,419,000. And yet, the maximum reading permitted by St Louis Fed Not in Labor Force (LNS15000000) graph: 88,000,000. The data has now officially dropped off the chart. No further commentary necessary.


The United States enters the twilight zone

May 4th, 2012 07:27 by News

03-May (Reuters) — ZeroHedge points out that the amount of U.S. debt outstanding has just surpassed the latest reading of our gross domestic product:

There is nothing quite like a $70 billion debt auction settlement at the last day of a month to bring total US debt to a record $15.692 trillion, which happens to be just $600 billion shy of the $16.394 trillion debt ceiling … And now that we know what Q1 GDP was at the end of Q1, or namely $15.462 trillion, it is simply math to divine that today alone total US/debt to GDP rose by 50 bps to a mindboggling 101.5%.

Now there is a whole school of thought, which counts New York Times columnist Paul Krugman among its leaders, that says that despite the amount of debt the federal government has incurred, more government spending and debt are needed given the stagnant state of the economy. Krugman elaborated on this idea in a recent interview with Julian Brookes of Rolling Stone:

A lot of people find emotionally unacceptable the idea that economic suffering on this scale could have a relatively trivial cause. But this has happened again and again through history. And it could be fixed fairly easily, by having government step in and spend.

The U.S. economy sits on a knife’s edge of slowing growth coupled with increasingly heavy debt loads.

…But propping up the entire economy by issuing more debt can’t be sustained for much longer. The U.S. has entered the twilight zone. Rushing headlong into the darkness is a risky approach.

People Not In Labor Force Soar By 522,000, Labor Force Participation Rate Lowest Since 1981

May 4th, 2012 06:54 by News

04-May (ZeroHedge) — It is just getting sad now. In April the number of people not in the labor force rose by a whopping 522,000 from 87,897,000 to 88,419,000. This is the highest on record. The flip side, and the reason why the unemployment dropped to 8.1% is that the labor force participation rate just dipped to a new 30 year low of 64.3%.

PG View: Nobody should be touting that teeny dip in the jobless rate as an encouraging sign…