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JOBS UP 288K, BUT LABOR FORCE SHRINKS BY 806K … 

The U.S. economy added a whopping 288,000 jobs in April, according to official government data released this week by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). That’s the highest new job total recorded since January 2012 – and well above even the most optimistic forecast. Also, total employment in the United States is now less than 100,000 jobs away from matching its December 2007 (a.k.a. pre-recession) level.

Add it all up and the official unemployment rate plunged from 6.7 to 6.3 percent.

Celebration time, right?

Not so fast. Amidst all this good news, the nation’s workforce shrunk by 806,000 positions (from 156.2 million to 155.4 million) – dropping the labor participation rate from 63.2 to 62.8 percent. That print matches its 2013 low – which at the time was the lowest mark recorded in three-and-a-half decades.

Ready for the doom and gloom statistic? A record 92 million Americans are not part of the labor force.

Wanna see what that looks like visually? Of course not … it’s depressing. But it’s a reality we need to start addressing as a country, so here goes …

(Click to enlarge)

Not in Labor Force_0

(Chart via Zero Hedge)

During U.S. President Barack Obama’s first full month of office in February 2009, the labor participation rate stood at 65.8.

(For more on what these numbers mean, CLICK HERE).

As for the quality of the jobs created, four of the top six industries were in the lowest-paying sectors – including leisure and hospitality, retail and temporary help.