In his May 8 letter to the editor, “The Obama recovery,” reader Anthony Pilla mentioned the continued improvement in the unemployment rate.
In order to put that in perspective it is necessary to note what impact any change in the Federal Reserve Participation Rate may have exerted. That rate is a measure of the number of people actively involved in the labor markets. A decline will have a downward effect on the unemployment rate.
The Participation Rate has dropped a significant 3.2 percentage points from 2009 until April 2014 because so many people have given up looking for work, and that has played a major role in the drop of the unemployment rate.
Mr. Pilla predicts the unemployment rate will drop to 5.5 percent by the end of Mr. Obama’s second term, and that may well happen, but not necessarily because things have improved but because more people have dropped out of the work force.