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The U.S. economy created only 74,000 jobs in December, according to the government’s statistics – a shockingly low number in light of a recent private sector report showing the creation of more than 238,000 new jobs last month.

Analysts had projected the government report would show the creation of 197,000 new jobs – which constitutes the biggest misreading of this key monthly indicator since December 2009.

Despite this anemic job growth, the nation’s unemployment rate declined from 7.0 to 6.7 percent – although once again it was for all the wrong reasons.  According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a record 91.8 million working age Americans were not part of the nation’s work force last month.  That sent the nation’s labor participation rate slipping to 62.8 percent – matching its 2013 low (which itself matched a 35-year-low).

During U.S. President Barack Obama’s first full month of office in February 2009, the labor participation rate stood at 65.8.  Assuming that rate as a constant, the real unemployment rate in December would have remained stuck at 11.5 percent.

Again, all of these numbers presume the integrity of the BLS data – which has come under fire in recent months.

“Another half a million people dropped out of the American labor force in December,” said Nathan Mehrens, president of Americans for Limited Government. “You can ignore every other statistic and spin coming out of this Administration about the job market, this is the only data point that matters.”

Indeed …

Mehrens added that “since Obama became president, the number of people who are considered to be in the civilian job eligible population has increased by just shy of eleven million people, but the number of people who have entered the work force has only increased by about 730 thousand people.”

Wow …

In South Carolina, the unemployment rate in November stood at 7.1 percent – however the state’s workforce has shrunk to a record low 58.1 percent of the working age population.  December data for the Palmetto State will be released later this month.

To view the December jobs report for yourself, click on the link below …

DECEMBER 2013 EMPLOYMENT SITUATION REPORT