White House Press Secretary Jay Carney explained that the number of people dropping out of the work force, which artificially depresses the unemployment rate, can be regarded as an "economic positive."
"A large percentage of that is due to younger people getting more education, which in the end is an economic positive," Carney said. "This increase in the number of people leaving the work force has been a trend and a fact since 2000, because of an aging population, which is not to say this is wholly -- that's not to say that I would wholly disregard as an issue." Carney had been asked about the 19 million underemployed or unemployed Americans, and about people who had left the work force.
"I think some of those who, I suppose, don't wish us well politically have tried to make a point about this," he also said. "The facts are that in these most recent numbers, this is not an issue of people leaving the work force; the numbers are positive across the board."