Labor Force Participation Rate Drops to 63.6%

It's a metaphysical certitude the media will be gushing and fawning over the Labor Department report Friday that the unemployment rate dropped to 7.7 percent in November.

What they'll likely ignore is that the number of working age Americans participating in the labor forced dropped to 63.6 percent.

As you can see from the above chart, unlike every economic recovery since 1980, this current one has seen participation in the labor force actually decline.

November was no exception as a staggering 540,000 Americans dropped out of the labor force.

Since the end of World War II, America's labor force has continued to grow virtually every year even during recessions.

Look at what's happened since 2008:

Be advised, the recession "officially" ended in June 2009.

Don't expect a lot of discussion about this in the coming days.

As for those out of the labor force:

Pretty scary, isn't it?

Likely also to be overlooked are downward revisions to job numbers in the previous months.

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for September was revised from +148,000
to +132,000, and the change for October was revised from +171,000 to +138,000.

That's a downward revision of 49,000 jobs in two months.

With recoveries like this, who needs recessions?

Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard, Associate Editor of NewsBusters, passed away in March of 2014.