The surprisingly weak U.S. jobs report in March showed that the U.S. has not fully turned the corner on job growth. Non-farm payrolls rose by 120,000, the worst performance in more than a year. This slow recovery is not unexpected after a financial crisis, and there are many other bright spots in the economy. However, some argue that the unemployment numbers are actually worse than reported—an ongoing controversy not likely to be resolved in the near future.
"The 'controversy' stems from the fact that the official unemployment rate, which has always excluded those who have dropped out of the labor force (they've given up on finding a job, gone on disability, etc.), would be much higher if it included them," says J.P. Morgan Funds' Market Strategist Andrew Goldberg. Because unemployment claim statistics don't pick up the long-term unemployed, some believe the employment picture in the U.S. is actually much worse than the one presented by Department of Labor (DOL) statistics. While this argument may hold some water—the U.S. labor market still has a way to go before it completely recovers from the financial crisis—it misses out on some truly positive trends at work.
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