Economist: Unemployment Low Because Labor Participation Is Low

Economist: Unemployment Low Because Labor Participation Is Low

University of Maryland economist Peter Morici argued that the unemployment rate “is really low right now because of a low adult participation rate” on Thursday’s “MSNBC Live.” 

Further he argued that unemployment would be much higher if the participation rate was where it was when President Barack Obama took office. 

“If we were at the level [of labor force participation] that we were at when Mr. Bush took office, it would be 12% unemployment, and when Mr. Obama took office, 10,” Morici said.

Morici did say that “significant progress” has been made in job creation, and added that “if we keep going in this direction, if we keep improving this way, then we’ll get up to the pace [of job creation] that we need by the end of this year.” 

He cautioned that there are questions about whether the increase in jobs is “a plateau,” and that “the last several months seem to imply that we’re at a new plateau,” but forecasted that the second half of the year would be better economically.

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

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