Labor Participation Rate Drops To Fresh 38 Year Low; Record 92.9 Million Americans Not In Labor Force

Tyler Durden's picture

Another month, another attempt by the BLS to mask the collapse in the US labor force with a goalseeked seasonally-adjusted surge in waiter, bartender and other low-paying jobs. Case in point: after a modest rebound by 0.1% in November, the labor participation rate just slid once more, dropping to 62.7%, or the lowest print since December 1977. This happened because the number of Americans not in the labor forced soared by 451,000 in December, far outpacing the 111,000 jobs added according to the Household Survey, and is the primary reason why the number of uenmployed Americans dropped by 383,000.


And another chart that will not be mentioned anywhere: the Civilian Employment to Population Ratio: at 59.2%, it is now unchanged for 4 months in a row.

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Shocker's picture

Just another day in this Recovery

Layoff / Closing List:

Pool Shark's picture



So let me get this straight: A smaller percentage of the population is working, and they're making less money.

What could go wrong?...


Dr. Engali's picture

Complete and total financial collapse..... Oh wait... you asked what could go wrong. 

knukles's picture

They decide that everybody should have at least 2 years of community college educaiton because we don't have enough PhD's flipping burgers?

eclectic syncretist's picture

Seems like a good time to look back at the last time we had a "green shoots" economy.

PrayingMantis's picture

... lol ... that guy with a baseball bat reminds me of the saying ... "it's true you could make lemonade but if life dealt you melons, you could be dyslexic ... :)

ersatz007's picture

I think you mean *too many* PhDs flipping burgers.  At least if you went to CC, for free, you won't feel you wasted any money if you end up flipping burgers.  Whereas if we have too many people with advanced degrees flipping burgers it's a tell-tale sign something is seriously F'd up with our economy.  And the gov doesn't want the people figuring that out.  

So what better than a distraction to make it look like they're doing something productive.  Not that I have anything against CC - in fact, it's a place to figure out what you really want to study without blowing a lot of dough.  And sometimes the teachers in CC have a lot more real-world experience than tenured professors in 4-year colleges who have been insulated from the school of hard knocks.

Really what we all need to learn is how to assist the robots in making all of our jobs go away - because that's what the future holds.   

fredquimby's picture

Really what we all need to learn is how to assist the robots in making all of our jobs go away - because that's what the future holds.

Full unempoyment should be a Government's/countries only aim/job!

Uchtdorf's picture

Quick! Somebody get Marc Chandler (AKA Marc to Market on ZH) of Brown Brothers Harriman on the line and have him remind us how strong the USD is and how great our recovery truly is. Help us, Marc. You're our only hope.

ebworthen's picture

Precisely, and he'll do it dryly and without passion.

Antifaschistische's picture

forget this statistic and show us the Personal Income Tax Receipts....that tells the story.

g'kar's picture

That does seem to indicate the S&P500 companies should have an even better year in 2015 as more individuals who actually work will have more of their money transferred involuntarily to the FSA to be spent on drugs, booze, Doritos, big screens and hookers.

gookempucky's picture


1978 population at 222 million

2014 population at 316 million

the math---------=  94 million

2014 not in labor pool 92 million



post turtle saver's picture

all we need are some rate hikes and we can enjoy the wonder years of the Carter era again... yay

DerdyBulls's picture

Rate hikes? Wont happen, only very modest and short-term if at all. Think "sovereign debt service." 

Squid Viscous's picture

We dis-incentivized some folks...

Gaius Frakkin' Baltar's picture

Our propaganda isn't working anymore on some folks.

Creepy A. Cracker's picture



Dr. Engali's picture

Liarman on CNBS can't figure out why participation is so low and wages are falling. Hey dumb fuck, people are forced to work multiple part time jobs thanks to zero care and we have a never ending flow of cheap labor coming in from the south.

yogibear's picture

And offshore outsourcing to the east.

madcows's picture

the world is replete with cheap manufacturing.  Clinton and company made it legally nice and easy for companies to ship production work elsewhere. Off shoring and internationalization of companies has been happening for many years.  That's a hit to america, which had been the world's manufacturer since wwII.

disabledvet's picture

Thank God we're debt free and winter is mild!

NotApplicable's picture

Yeah, but Clinton's actions pale in comparison to Greenspin's funding of the whole endeavor.

Magic Checkbooks, FTW!

Franktastic's picture

Am out and laying low, because i do not want to feed the corrupted machine anymore, am sure am not the only one with this withdrawing from slumber land.

I want to LIVE!

doctorZH's picture


richiebaby's picture

I would be participating if only my rapper career would take off

TheMerryPrankster's picture

send bigger bags of weed and blow with your mix tapes when you send them to reviewers and distributors also make sure to send a nice thank you note when you get a good review

Never hurts to put  a cap in some big name producers ass, great publicity and the jail time will make your career have street cred.

papaswamp's picture

Just dont look at the not seasonally adjusted...actually lost jobs.

yogibear's picture

Yep bullish. More QE coming.

Expect Yellen or Bulltard to talk about it to boost markets.

Continued printing of trillions to monetize debt.

Larger US deficits.

Infinite debt model. Zimbabwe economics. 


the not so mighty maximiza's picture

i think they are going to go kamakize and raise rates

NotApplicable's picture

Not until the next 9/11 comes along to provide adequate cover, is my guess.

But given I wasn't born a card-holding club member, I haven't a clue as to timing.

Element's picture

At least they're not unemployed, that would be bad.

replaceme's picture

That made me spit out my soylent green all over my monitor.

knukles's picture

That crap gives me the runs.  Maybe mine's made from Mexicans?

noben's picture

What flavor? Regular, Nacho or Curry?

g&#039;kar's picture

Thanks, I needed that.

TheFourthStooge-ing's picture


At least they're not unemployed, that would be bad.

Fucken A, bro. This is the path to full employment!

Element's picture

Does smack addict admit they have a problem, or do they keep pumping in the shit and die in a toilet stall, thus successfully avoiding personal crisis?

knukles's picture

Elvis was not a smack addict.  He liked booze and pain meds.  And he died on his own commode.

Element's picture

lol, I would not have made that connection, occupation GI blues, no?

TheMerryPrankster's picture

The King died on the Throne.

He had heart disease and was massively constipated from the opiates. a couple of exlax could have saved Elvis, he was full of shit - just like CNBC.

everybody goes sometimes but elvis went while he was going.

WTFUD's picture

Elvis is DEAD? Fuck i'm more outta touch than Obama.

P.S. Knukles Elvis was a 'snack' addict.

Elliott Eldrich's picture

I'm thinking "dying in a toilet stall" is a good example of the ultimate in "personal crisis."

Element's picture

Maybe for significant others.

TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

Habits can naturally decline and lose their ground as they grow successful and destroy their ground in the doing.

The current situation is one of intelligent people who gamed themselves, living at the expense of silly people. Silly people can no longer sustain intelligent people, led by US citizenism, in all their mistakes.

But hey, propaganda is vital to US citizenism and everything that can help confusing is welcome.

Uchtdorf's picture

I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.

WTFUD's picture

Don't know if my ticker can handle all this good news spewing out of .Gov.