How About Adjusting for the Size of Labor Force?
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. employers slashed 598,000 jobs in January, the deepest cut in payrolls in 34 years as the national unemployment rate shot up to 7.6%, according to a Labor Department report today that underlined a deepening recession.
January's job losses were worse than the 525,000 that had been forecast by Wall Street economists, who also had expected the unemployment rate to come in lower at 7.5%. The bleak employment data is certain to be cited by the Obama administration as a fresh reason for Congress to speed up debate over a multibillion-dollar package of proposals to try to stimulate economic activity.
Last month's job reductions were the largest since 602,000 in December 1974, while the jobless rate reached its highest level in more than 16 years.
MP: Here we go again. The labor force today is almost 154 million, or more than 65% higher than in December 1974 (92.78 million), so comparing today's job losses to 1974 is meaningless. As a percent of the labor force, today's job losses would have be almost 1 million before we would be at the same level as 1974.