WORKFORCE PARTICIPATION HITS FRESH 38-YEAR LOW …
|| By FITSNEWS || America’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 5.6 percent in December (its lowest level since June 2008). Meanwhile another quarter million new jobs were created in December, according to the monthly job report released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Good news, right? Sure … if you’re not paying attention.
Mainstream media outlets like The Wall Street Journal touted America’s “strongest year of job growth in 15 years” and a new “postrecession low” in unemployment as “evidence of momentum for the labor market.”
The only problem? The labor pool continued to shrink, wages also declined and the quality of jobs continued to diminish – a sad testament to the “recovery” created by the economic policies of presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama.
Most important for those of you keeping score at home, America’s labor participation dropped in December to 62.7 percent – its lowest reading since December 1977. Translated into hard numbers? A total of 92.9 million working age Americans were not part of the labor force – a new record.
“Only 111,000 more Americans were employed in December than the month before, while 456,000 people abandoned the workforce entirely. That is how the unemployment rate dropped to 5.6 percent in spite of extremely disappointing job growth numbers,” said Rick Manning, vice president of public policy and communications for Americans for Limited Government.
Meanwhile the nation’s civilian employment-to-population ratio remained stuck at 59.2 percent for the fourth consecutive month.
Here’s what that “jobs recovery” looks like courtesy of our friends at Zero Hedge …
(Click to enlarge)
On the wage front, hourly earnings slid by 0.2 percent after a 0.4 percent gain in November – the steepest decline since the BLS began tracking the measure eight years ago.
Yeah … where’s the “consumer renaissance?” And bear in mind this income stagnation comes as Americans are having to pay more money than ever for health insurance.
“It was hardly a Merry Christmas for Americans who are trying to get ahead in spite of the headwinds created by the President’s regulatory policies,” Manning said.
While we continue to hope for the best, we see nothing in this labor report to indicate the American economy is roaring back to life … although we certainly welcome the debate.