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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Marco's picture

Consumption has increased with per worker productivity throughout all of history.

Per worker productivity can grow pretty much without limit ... do you think consumption can?

JuliaS's picture

Mechanical machines eliminated physical work and turned people into machine operators. Automated work (self-guiding machines) got rid of the human operator and made remaining ones so efficient that they could single-handedly run operations capable of meeting needs of every consumer on the planet. The left were left precisely as that - consumers, who had to finance their spending either out of savings of through credit, transfering wealth to the last batch of machine operators and more importantly - to machine owners.

The question to ask here is, who's the beneficiary in all of this? Who owns the machines? The answer: "The same man who owns the land machines exist and operate on. The land which supplies raw materials and energy necessary for the mechanized workforce to exist."

Who owns everything? The bank and the government (who are one and the same).

The industrial revolution did destroy jobs. First it killed all the muscle jobs. Then it killed all the brain jobs, tranferring all the assets generated thoughout this transition to ones who realized the importance of property ownership early on - those who had seized control of the land.

Lost Word's picture

A Bankster Corporate self-created Ponzi scheme that will collapse when there is no one left of the 99 percent on the planet that can afford to buy what the automated factories produce,

unless all the 99 percent get free unlimited Bankster money to spend,

so why do the bankster even bother with owning corporations for profit,

if they can just print all the free Bankster money they want for themselves?

I suppose a certain minimum amount of productivity is needed for the Banksters to obtain and enjoy the luxuries of life.

Or maybe they just like being slave owners.

All that time in Egypt being Jewish slaves must have twisted their inherited personality.

JuliaS's picture

The goal is to help 1% capture all the assets with the help of 99% and then the goal if fulfilled. No need for the rest of us. The machines are smart enough to privide everything the last 1% desires.

luigi1111's picture

Over $100B what? Their market cap is just under $20 billion.

Anusocracy's picture

Curious, does your startup do government work?

Does it do work that is a response to a government created problem?

Blano's picture

I grade you a B+ for your MDB impersonation.

fxrxexexdxoxmx's picture

Milliondollarbonus...a poster who at times was very funny ...he/she/it was a defender of the FED and statist ideas.

Lost Word's picture

Presumably czardas is a new account.

Rockatanski's picture

@SilverIsKing.....THAT is some really good sarcasm. funny, thanks.

The Duke of New York A No.1's picture

Amen brother! .... all Hail the great Bernank!.


Long Tungsten.

Withdrawn Sanction's picture

"The labor participation rate is low due the retirement of huge numbers of highly uccessful people."

Nice try, but incorrect.  Retirees are not counted as part of the labor force since they are neither actively seeking employment nor currently employed.  Labor Force is simply the sum of the no. of employed people plus the no. of unemployed people, how ever BLS counts them.   And there's the rub as far as the unemployment RATE (UR) is concerned. The UR is the no. of unemployed divided by the labor force; so, if you can reduce the no. of unemployed people, you can drive down the unemployment RATE.

This is true even though unemployeds show up in the numerator and denominator of the UR fraction.  The effect lowering the no. of unemployeds is disproportionately larger on the numerator than the denominator and so the rate falls.  So kicking unemployeds out of the labor force, because, say they haven't looked for a job in the last 4 weeks, or for whatever other reason you can cook up, operates to lower the published UR, even though there are still massive number of people who really are willing and able to work, it's just that they dont "count" in the BLS figures.  The net result is the labor force falls along with the UR.

Put more simply, the declining labor force participation rate (the labor force relative to working age population) is the tell tale that the falling rate of unemployment is a chimera.

kaiserhoff's picture

Underground economy.  It's not just the ZH crowd.  People are simply making other arrangements because the system is failing.

SamAdams's picture

You are correct.  See my comment above.

GeorgeHayduke's picture

I think you're on the right track. This system has become so exhausted, overextended and corrupt that failure is about the only option left. The system can no longer hide former so-called externalities. Cheap energy is a thing of the past. The expense of using the military to keep other countries corporate friendly is outweighing the profit margins. The current political system no longer works. Trust in currencies and therefore trust in trade is dwindling fast. Plus much more...

Of course, those in power will do everything and anything they can to keep this system running as is for the benefit of them and their wealthy friends. In the meantime they will be throwing anything of value at themselves and their friends. It the same old system of socialism for the wealthy and powerful, and every man for himself for everyone else that we've always had. It's just much more visible as the ship is taking on water at a faster rate.

Buck Johnson's picture

And if the price of goods and services have gone up via inflation where even 2 salaries may not be enough.

GetZeeGold's picture



We live in an enlightened society where the more people we have out of work brings down the unemployment rate.


We call it progress.

Liquid Courage's picture

What's in a name? That which we call a turd

By any other name would smell as foul.

ElvisDog's picture

And that will be the headline and what the talking heads will talk about "Unemployment at 4 year low"

HamRove's picture

Not so Fast Jekyll!

This D-bag says Moar easing. Gotta get that FIX baby!

midtowng's picture

Just wait until next month when over 1 million unemployed drop off the extended rolls. Then the government can stop counting them and the participation rate will REALLY fall.

We may see a negative unemployment rate before this is all over.

TheRideNeverEnds's picture

Indeed, here in Obama's America we are entering a post scarcity utopia where the government will provide for us everything that they deem necessary to have.  

4realmoney's picture

This video is hilarious. Mashup of movies talking about the US National Debt. Total nod to ZeroHedge in the opening:

Skin666's picture

+ 1


That's a great video!

S5936's picture

4-$$ - excellent stuff !! + 10. Thx

bob_stl's picture

I'm fed up, Arnold, and I don't care who knows it.

Villageidiot777's picture

That is what people should watch, but this video is shorter and easier to understand:

Party now, pay later.

lakecity55's picture

"There's a ShitStorm coming, Randy, the Mother of All SHitstorms, and you and your pal Julian are gonna be blown away!"
"Fuck off, Mr Lahey!"

venturen's picture

Don't forget the bought and paid for congress.... The crooks of Wall Street were rescued and are screaming the market what if people die of starvation. Even the freeloaders don't scam on the level of Wall Street.... The trillions they have manipulated for themselves is unprecedented. There will be consequences!

drendebe10's picture

Give it up for the arrogant,narcissist, lying illegal alien muslim, his ptogrrssive democraps and all the sheeple who put the thing in office.

tempo's picture

Fewer jobs means bigger Govt., more college students and support programs using biblical language of equality, fairness, compassion. Many sermons in our bigger churches now emphasis the social justice gospel of working in food banks, caring for the poor.

PrintemDano's picture

Atlas Shrugged....comes to life.....


SAT 800's picture

That's right. That and a criminal ruling class that deliberately sold the United States down the toilet.

SAT 800's picture

MarketWatch has a sub-headline today on the Jobs Report page saying---"Ignore this Job Report". I especially like the command form of the sentence. I feel like saluting and saying, Yes Sir!

BigSkyBear's picture

Welcome to the new Normal - S&P 10K! (Aaaaaaack!)

mickrussom's picture

This man is a dangerous enemy within. He colludes with the oligarchical collevtivists and the banking cabals and the military complexes and the NWO types to totally destroy our national soverignty, our borders, our faith, our culture and our money. This man, Obama, is a traitor and belongs in prison for life as well as his entire regime..

survivor727's picture

The American Economy was killed the day Slick Willie signed NAFTA.  NAFTA, CAFTA, GATT and all of the rest of the ridiculous "free trade" agreements killed the economy long ago.  But like a chicken when its head is cut off, the body runs around the yard because it doesn't know it's dead yet.  Well, the same can be said for the US Economy.  We have been outsourcing jobs and entire industries for the past three decades even while both dems and reps railed against it!  Obama's own jobs tsar Jeffry Imet from GE was outsourcing entire segments of General Electric while he was advising Obongo on creating jobs.  Are you kidding mke!

The economy is not recovering and is not going to recover because you can't run a country where people all work in retail and can't afford to buy the cheap foreign made garbage they sell.  It's game over!  Now the imbeciles in Washington will finish off the trades in this country when they decide some 80 million illegals are now legal!  Forget about the 11 million number; it's 80 million because they will be allowed to bring their families as well!  In one fell swoop nearly one quarter of the US Population will suddenly be Hispanic.

Washington is quite simply one party with two heads.  There is no fiscal sanity.  There is no fiscal conservatism and those who speak out are immediately labeled and marginalized.  America uis like the painting of the wooly mammoth on the cave wall with 50 spears stuck in him.  He is dying a slow, painful death while the buzzards circle.

Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve has so devalued the US Dollar that it is simply a shadow of its former self and represents multi-generational theft.  The Fed has, by virtue of QE devalued the dollar and stolen hundreds of billions from future Americans while crushing the buyiong power of current Americans.  The debt can never be paid back.  We have now passed the point where that was mathematically possible.  The fed now HAS NO CHOICE but to continue printing and devaluing because if they stop, the whole house of cards will collapse.

If the US Government ended the Fed, went back to a Constitutional form of government, raised tariffs agaisnt foreing goods and rebuilt our industrial base, we would again be a true world power.  Right now we are simply the family down the block with two new cars in the drivveway, a new hous, a huge yard, a boat, two jet skiis and all of the kids attend private school, but they eat Ramen Noodles every night because it is all on borrowed money and all of their income goes to pay debt!



CarrierWave's picture

There is only on conclusion to take from this latest revelation for those of us who invest in the Markets:

Fewer people are employed = Corporations' labor expenses are lower = Corporations profits are higher = Companies valuations go up = Stock prices are confirmed to move higher still.

Add the mighty watching FED to the mix and what do you get?

A Market that is all but sure to keep delivering those of us who are invested the promise of even more gains.


Don't fight the FED. Choose your entry points intelligently. Set Stop Loss smartly. Managed your positions properly and don;t sweat the minor pullbacks or even a 5% one. THose are normal and healthy in any market.

piliage's picture

Bullish! I'm long Chalupas

RaymondKHessel's picture



disabledvet's picture

The Queen Mum wants her gold...AND HER Grey Poupon.

thatthingcanfly's picture

Raymond, knock it off with the pretentious bullshit comment-section straw polls already!

Agent P's picture


q99x2's picture

Why do people complain about not working? That's the craziest dang thing I ever heard.