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The Increasingly Irrelevant Unemployment Rate

June 4, 2012 1 minute Read by Four Percent

Nin-Hai Tseng, CNN Money FORTUNE – When it comes to gauging the health of the U.S. economy, the unemployment rate is proving to be an awfully unreliable statistic. After modest declines earlier this year, the jobless rate in May edged higher to 8.2% from 8.1%,the Labor Department reported Friday. The bad news shouldn't be that surprising. It confirms what some experts suspected all along – that the pace of economic growth never really justified the drop we saw in unemployment earlier this year. Back in April, joblessness fell to 8.1% from 8.2% the previous month, with the economy creating a mere 115,000 jobs. Although that meant the unemployment rate reached its lowest point since January 2009, the number of jobs created was barely enough to keep up with new workers entering the labor market. Read More

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