People Not In Labor Force Soar To Record 91.8 Million; Participation Rate Plunges To 1978 Levels

Tyler Durden's picture

Curious why despite the huge miss in payrolls the unemployment rate tumbled from 7.0% to 6.7%? The reason is because in December the civilian labor force did what it usually does in the New Normal: it dropped from 155.3 million to 154.9 million, which means the labor participation rate just dropped to a fresh 35 year low, hitting levels not seen since 1978, at 62.8% down from 63.0%.

And the piece de resistance: Americans not in the labor force exploded higher by 535,000 to a new all time high 91.8 million.

The jobless, laborless recovery continues to steam on.

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MFLTucson's picture

Disgraceful!  This is the recovery everyone is talking about?  This Kenyan clown makes me sick to my stomach!

jekyll island's picture

What are you talking about?  The unemployment rate is below 7%.  Mission accomplished.  Time to taper, right Janet?  

Kaiser Sousa's picture

"welcome to the recovery..."



Shocker's picture

Layoff List:

Recovery, Recession, whatever you like to call it.

Vagabond's picture

What do you guys expect when a family of 4 has more net income on benefits than a full time salary of ~60K a year.  More and more people are taking the benefits and working under the table for disposable income.  Who wants to pay taxes to support this ponzi anyhow?

SilverIsKing's picture

The labor participation rate is low due the retirement of huge numbers of highly uccessful people. Because of Bernanke's policies and the recovery, the masses have experienced extreme improvements in their wealth thus allowing them to retire early. More printing will lead to even more wealth, an even lower participation rate, and lower unemployment rate.

That's how the Fed rolls.

Popo's picture

Well hell, let's just print an infinite amount and let everyone retire.   All that stressing about fiscal policy... who knew it was this easy!

mydogisprettierthanyou's picture

85b to the banks or 85b to the people.....whats the difference?

SamAdams's picture

Another way to look at it -> This means 38% of citizens of working age do not pay taxes.  Furthermore, of the working age citizens, perhaps 40% make enough money to pay taxes.  This reduces the tax base to about 40% of the population having citizenship and being of working age.  With those sorts of numbers, and the huge debt, tax revenues are paltry and therefore taxes must increase.  Hence, Obama Care tax (and TPP taxes if they can get it).

I do not blame people for not paying taxes.  Indeed, using my tax money to build a bomb and blow it up in another country is a piss-poor return on my tax investment.  I'd prefer not to feed the machine...

TerminalDebt's picture

This is all because of the cold weather, nothing else.

It never been cold before.


SamAdams's picture

Quite true because they told me so...  Cooling is Warming, Unemployed is Employed, Freedom is Slavery....

El Diablo Rojo's picture

It's a sad day when Silver IS King has to write  /sarc.

Temporalist's picture

ZH made front page headline at

Keyser's picture

The BLS is telling us the unemployment rate is now under 7%

The check is in the mail

And I won't cum in your mouth


Dark_Horse's picture

As the gov't keeps adding more dole-outs and entitlements, there will be less employment participation.

Eventually the job killing policies will leave the USA with 5 jobs and they will be 100% filled, showing 0% unemployment.

Then the gov't will declare their employment plan is a complete success.



WarriorClass's picture

The bigger picture that takes jobs from Americans and lowers the wages of those still working are LEGAL immigration and WORK VISAS. Those are the middle class jobs that are going to foreigners at the expense of Americans. The illegal aliens tend to take the lower paying jobs that black people won't do and white kids are no longer allowed to do.

Companies would rather hire a foreign national since that person can't demand a raise or just go across the street and get another job. A foreigner would have to go back to his country of origin and then start looking for a higher paying job. This keeps wages down for both the foreign national and the American worker. The massive legal immigrants add directly to the labor pool of American workers, driving down wages generally. This is simple supply and demand for labor.

Increase the supply of labor and the price of labor (wages) goes down. All of you "law abiding" that support LEGAL immigration are cutting your own throats, and the big corporations are helping you do that with work visas.

Nevertheless, the dumbed down masses cry for "legal" immigration while their paycheck whittles down to nothing and they can't afford to send their kids to college while the aliens go for free.

kralizec's picture

The beatings will continue until the unemployment rate is zero.  Of course everybody will be unemployed and not looking for work (work? what work?)....

tickhound's picture


We here at The Hedge welcome you into furthering your detox.

superflex's picture


Gold Bitchez!

qqqqtrader's picture

I'm still unemployed

and still looking


Ranger_Will's picture

77,000 Reads on this article? Woot! Drudge FTW! Welcome to The Hedge bitchez...

Bastiat's picture

Drudge is huge.  He's moved from Republican towards Libertarian in the last year--I like to think ZH played a bit part.

MisterMousePotato's picture

Drudge is a Democrat.

Drudge is a homosexual.

But Matt certainly is the best of the lot (homosexual Democrats). Arguably that's not saying a lot (Barry, Kagan, ad infinitum), but Matt Drudge does take the 1st Amendment seriously, which sets him apart, not just from the Democrats, but also from a lot of Republicans, libertarians (lowercase L intentional), even some Tea Party types.

p.s. ZH had nothing to do with it. Go and find a transcript of his address to the National Press Club back in (?) 1998 (?). Very poignant. Very wistful. Very telling. If anything, Matt Drudge probably influenced ZH.


Welcome to Fucking fight club.  You new Drudge Cocksuckers.  Check the rules.

TruthInSunshine's picture

Where's Fat Barry Ritholtz to dispute these facts?

erg's picture

The 100,000 reader should automatically win a metal detector.

Oldwood's picture

Look also at unemployment insurance. In Texas every unemployment claim that is paid out is billed in full back to the employer. Like you have car insurance, you pay your premiums, but when you make a claim, they make you pay it back in full, on top of your regular premium. Unemployment claims are still only charged back to employers based on a 26 week payout, but as we know, the feds have pushed for 99 weeks and while they are funding most of it they have also been pressuring states to adopt the longer terms. If employers are faced with potential charge backs on their state policies for 99 weeks, almost two years, who in the hell is going to hire anyone? And this is retroactive. You could hire someone twenty years ago but if they change the payout rules it effects everyone, regardless of when they were hired. If you think employers are not considering this you are mad. Employees are supposed to be an asset but our government is converting then into liabilities more every day. I remember about twenty years ago I went on a sister city trade junket to Mexico City. I attended employment conferences where it was explained to me that in Mexico and employer was held responsible for an employees welfare accruing with years of employment. You could not just fire someone. You had to supply them with room and board and such for life (kind of like our public union benefits). It was explained to me because of this there were no employees. Everyone was an independent contractor and all of the American companies that came to Mexico were granted "waivers" so as to not be liable for employee's life in perpetuity. We are seeing this here and now, and no one will acknowledge that it has been done before and what it ultimately cost.


We have been stuck in this drain swirling event for years and more people everyday are starting to notice the drain is clearly in view and we are speeding up, while our government has pursued policies supposedly for our benefit, saving the planet and solving our healthcare crisis, yet every single action taken has the effect of killing jobs. Accident...I think not.

SAT 800's picture

War is Peace, and this job report caused a big spike in Bond Buying that caused me to be out of my long Bond short with a loss. Boo-hoo.

nmewn's picture

We're creating or saving so many jobs, so fast, that we need to extend unemployment insurance for at least another year! Why hell...look at U-3...its going down so fast that we need immigration reform on top of that fill all those new jobs being saved or created! ;-)

TuPhat's picture

I retired two years ago.  The physical aspects of the job were getting to be quite difficult for me to keep up with.  They had cut back on people until one person had to do what two people used to do.  I suggested they hire some new younger people so they could get some experience before us old guys retired.  They wouldn't do that.  They asked me to come back after I retired and I did for a year.  They hired some new people but it takes about three years to learn all the different things we have to do.  I left again after a year and they still want me to come back.  I go on Social Security this year and they will subract money from my check if I work.  I have no hope that the govt. will ever incentivise work instead of punishing those who want to work.  The large corporations are the same.  Work until you drop dead, but don't expect to be rewarded for it.  Welfare would have been an easier life.  That would have erased my self esteem and I can't go that way but I can understand why so many do.

SamAdams's picture

I know how it is.  If you work beyond a certain annual income after retirement, it cuts into the money you saved for your retirement (those SS taxes you paid since age 16).  The trick is to write off and expense away all income, just as if you were a banker or a corporation.  Either that, or do it completely without license and bonding (which unfortunately leaves you open to law suits of the Pharisees).

Keep on keepin' on, fight the machine.  It's wheels are coming off...

aVileRat's picture


The jobs bad call was expected (as per november comments).

Now to see what happens in the Jan numbers when the big revisions start again and if the layoffs start rolling in.


Soul Glow's picture

Ol' Yellen's gonna have to Un-Taper and the Boomers are going to have to Un-Retire.  Learn to farm, Boomers.

BorisTheBlade's picture

Yes, someone has to feed millenials.

alphamentalist's picture

Boomers, who expect people to pay for their unfunded social programs, should probably not cast stones at the generations caught in the crosshairs of the boomer built doomsday economy.

Lost Word's picture

Could it be that the Job killing effects of ObamaCare are seen in this report?

SameAsItEverWas's picture

It's not a tax penalty, it's losing the social security tax break.

The reason your taxes are so high when working while receiving social security is that you're not just paying taxes on what you're earning; the more you earn, the bigger a fraction of your social security is taxable income.

If you weren't working, the first $25 K or so of your annual social security receipts is not taxed at all.  But, the more you earn, the bigger a fraction (up to 50%, methinks) of your social security becomes taxable.

Race Car Driver's picture

> I'd prefer not to feed the machine...

It's time for all people of good conscious to call a personal general strike until this shit stops. And if everyone is on a personal general strike - it will stop ... guaran-fuckin'-teed.

Heads on pikes can come later. But for now - no excuses - just quit.

max2205's picture

Half a million people a month saying fuck it and starving the beast...i love it

Herd Redirection Committee's picture

Start with corporate boycotts.  Walmart, Target, for starters.

Yenbot's picture

Good on you.

And if you other guys have to work as non-management anywhere, join the union. Even if you are the only worker, you can fill out a card at the local. Look up the local for your trade, and go fill out a card. The hiring hall will point you at a job. It's the difference between $8.50 and $24 an hour. Pension. Benefits. Paid time off. And that Keynesian Magic: money enough to spend. So my resort can stay in business.

DOT's picture

Another layer of corruption to be financed by the consumer of goods and services. How is this not a drag on us all? Why pay $24 for a job that can not return a concomitant profit without .gov interference or thuggery?

Freddie's picture

Feed the Machine?  I bet 75% of the people who post on ZH probably still watch TV and Hollywood's crap.  Until you pull the plug for good and stop feeding the main tools they use to control then you are talking shit. 

"Oh but the wife likes TV."  The elites like how the sheep watch TV because they can control the public's thoughts that way. .   Just the BS Dan Rather pulled after JFK was killed. The public is stupid.

Stoploss's picture

Today's numbers just about put these into parabola.

As previously stated, once the 7% threshold is breached, the acceleration of decay increases expo.

Wait until March and see what happens with this, the Purple party will not survive this.



AGAU's picture

Another way to look at it: They're being taxed through loss of standard of living by inflation.

The way to crush the bourgeoisie is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation - Voltaire.

Inflation is a tax, therefore you cannot simply opt out of paying tax because you are unemployed or earn too little.

The best way to minimise the taxation is to become as self sufficient as possible and to educate as many as you can in your local community while building a network of like minded and capable people with practical skills. That's not easy to do especially when the vast majority are living in a dream world.

TheMeatTrapper's picture

The best way to minimise the taxation is to become as self sufficient as possible and to educate as many as you can in your local community while building a network of like minded and capable people with practical skills. That's not easy to do especially when the vast majority are living in a dream world.

I agree. I trap my meat supply. Every pound of meat that I trap is a pound of meat that I did not have to earn income (and be taxed on), did not have to purchase at the store (and pay sales tax on). By learning to trap food, I completely short circuit the system in a completely legal manner. 

Learn To Trap Your Meat

disabledvet's picture

since it is impossible to have property taxes made illegal everything will either be stolen or abandoned.