(THE TELEGRAPH) — In a normal recovery, the US labour market would be firing on all cylinders at this stage. Yet the latest household jobs survey showed a net loss of 35,000 jobs in May, 301,000 in June, 159,000 in July. The ratio of the working age population with jobs has fallen to 58.4, back where it was in the depths of recession.
Over 1.2m people have dropped out the work force over the last three months, which is the only reason why the unemployment rate has not vaulted back into double digits. A record 41m Americans are on food stamps. This is unlike anything since the Second World War.