Labor Force Participation Rate Plunges To 5 Year Low Of 64.6%
The chart below demonstrates the plunge in the civilian labor force participation: in December 153.059 million were in the labor force, 15.267 million were unemployed and 83.865 million were not in the labor force: a 64.6% participation rate.
Now keep in mind the 5 year average participation rate has been 65.9% (including December's data, 66% excluding). That is a 3.073 million delta, and the definition of labor force attachment is probably a loose combination of government semantics. Had those 3 million still be in the labor force (and, of course, not employed), the number of unemployed workers would have been 18.340 million, which in turn would result in an unemployment rate of 12%.