Most analysts see the unemployment rate remaining staying at 8.2 percent, while some anticipate an increase. The wildcard is the number of adults actually working or seeking jobs—the measure of the labor force used to calculate the unemployment rate. Adults who have quit looking and left the labor force altogether are responsible for 99 percent of the reduction in the unemployment rate from 10 percent since October 2009 report.
Many adults have reason to be discouraged—new jobs pay lower wages than did those lost during the recession. Policies, favoring bank consolidation and financial schemes, alternative energy and high technology, and government expansion of health care are hampering jobs creation in core-manufacturing, resources and many service activities. Those policies encourage more off-shoring, push down wages, pad big bonuses and dividends, and skew income toward the wealthiest in Manhattan, the Silicon Valley and other bastions of privilege.