These days if you look at the news, as long as its not Fox News, economic data has generally been positive: three consecutive months of 200,000+ private sector jobs created, a declining or steady unemployment rate, and falling jobless claims. For a liberal in an election year, things are looking up. If only the unemployment can get below 8%, right?
However, as this article argues, all that glitters is not gold.
The labor participation rate declined from 68% to 66% in the years 2007-2011. From 2003-2008, it remained constant at 68%. This means that since the recession, more and more people have either retired or stopped looking for work, thus bringing down the unemployment rate. However much I would like to believe the president's economic policies are initiating our jobs recovery, the data makes me suspicious. Moreover, once more people start looking for work, and for the labor participation rate to increase, we should also expect an increase in the unemployment rate.
Again as this article notes, the increase in retirees will add to the costs of our Medicare and Social Security, the largest recipient of federal spending.
The devil is in the details indeed.