The simple story of the July unemployment numbers, released Friday, is that the population grew by about 200,000 people and new jobs absorbed just about all of them.
Why did the unemployment rate go down — from 7.6 percent to 7.4 percent? Because the official “workforce” actually declined — by about 40,000 people. What could explain the drop, given the rise in population? “Ten thousand baby boomers turn 65 today” has become a demographic cliché (or meme, if you prefer). Barring a mass and age-selective plague, that means that 10,000 or so are also turning 66, their official Social Security retirement age. Many, if not most, baby boomers are retiring. And since 10,000 a day equals 300,000 a month, if two-thirds of them are hanging up their rock ‘n’ roll work shoes, Friday’s numbers would make sense: 200,000 or so retirees offsetting the 200,000 or so new working-age Americans.
Read the full article at PBS.