Here is an explanation from former Budget Director David Stockman:
Needless to say, we think there is a far more insightful and accurate way to look at labor utilization and to assess whether or not an awesome state of affair has actually been achieved.
To wit, back in December 2000 (the last time U-3 hit 3.9%) what we consider to be the comprehensive unemployment rate was 34.6%. Today it stands at 40.0%.
Since the turn of the century, therefore, there has been enormous deterioration in the US economy's use of its potential labor supply. Yet as the Baby Boom rapidly ages and the Welfare State burden soars, that is a very bad thing.
Stated differently, the US has not utilized the last 9 years of so-called recovery getting back to Awesome as implied by today's BLS report.
Instead, it has wasted a crucial decade in front of the retirement bow-wave---continuing to peddle backwards with regard to its underlying capacity for economic growth and rising real incomes. If nothing else, the latter are absolutely essential to pay the taxes that will be needed to prevent the US Welfare/Warfare State from fiscally capsizing in the decades immediately ahead.
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There is gonna be hell to pay, and it will come sooner than later.
Trump will be blamed, but it is the entire US government and corporate apparatus which has been lying to us and bears full responsibility for what is about to happen.