Courtesy of Mish.
Fed chairman Ben Bernanke estimated it takes about 125,000 jobs per month to keep up with birthrate and immigration. I think because of boomer retirements, the number is much lower, say 75,000 jobs a month.
However, there has been almost no increase in the labor pool for the past four years as noted in Reader Questions: Who is “Not in Labor Force”? Who is Counted as Unemployed?
Civilian Labor Force
Notice how the labor force did not skip a beat in prior recessions. The housing bust and boomer demographics changed the trend in a dramatic way.
Civilian Labor Force Since 2000
Labor Force Barely Increased in Nearly Four Years
The labor force peaked at 154,875,000 in October of 2008, exactly on the cusp of the great recession.
The current labor force is 155,013,0000 barely above what it was nearly four years ago.
At 75,000 per month since October 2008, the labor force should have risen by 3,450,000 not 138,000. The result is a huge unwarranted drop in the stated unemployment rate.