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Labor Force Participation Rate Drops To 63.9%, Lowest Since January 1984

Tyler Durden's picture


While we still await for to finally come back up online half an hour after printing the actual NFP number, here is the one data point that we know for a fact: the labor force participation rate, and the reason why the general unemployment rate declined to 9.1%, just dropped to 63.9%, the lowest in 16 years, or matches the participation rate from January 1984.


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Fri, 08/05/2011 - 09:01 | 1526383 franzpick
franzpick's picture

Well I want to see the taxpayer participation rate.

Fri, 08/05/2011 - 09:06 | 1526411 Esso
Esso's picture

Why, that's 100% or die.*


*Excludes .gov officials

Fri, 08/05/2011 - 09:15 | 1526451 Pay Day Today
Pay Day Today's picture

Also excludes big oil. Ironic that your avatar is Esso.

Fri, 08/05/2011 - 09:15 | 1526460 Crisismode
Crisismode's picture

The number is meaningless.


It will be revised DOWN big-time next month.

Fri, 08/05/2011 - 09:37 | 1526540 Captain Willard
Captain Willard's picture

Exxon actually pays one of the highest tax rates in the SP 500. You can look it up.


GE is another story.........    :)

Fri, 08/05/2011 - 10:07 | 1526633 Esso
Esso's picture

FWIW, it goes back to an old screen name from years ago that everybody abbreviated as S.O. My disdain for energy companies makes the irony even sweeter, PDT.

Fri, 08/05/2011 - 10:27 | 1526713 Pay Day Today
Pay Day Today's picture

thanks for setting me straight on Exxon, dudes. Still, I have some suspicions :)

Fri, 08/05/2011 - 11:13 | 1526889 Bolweevil
Bolweevil's picture

The goog says $21.6B in taxes 2010 from XOM, can't find a number (lazy) in subsidies paid to them (approximately 25% of all .gov subsidies go to oil and gas).

Fri, 08/05/2011 - 09:52 | 1526584 Esso
Esso's picture

Ha! Look at that. Turbo Tax Tungsten Timmy junked me!

Fri, 08/05/2011 - 09:11 | 1526441 Dr. Richard Head
Dr. Richard Head's picture

Would I count as negative one in that regard since I don't withhold any Federal Income tax from my check and file for every goddamned extension that is possible? How about me drawing out payments for any money "owed" to these fucks at $40 a month when they finally send me the bill?  I'm still Dick Trickling in 2009's payments as we speak. 

I will drag my feet slowly as it relates to tax payer particiaption.  If Timmah can do it, so can Dr. Dick Head.  Extend and pretend - it's the Amerikan way.

Fri, 08/05/2011 - 09:36 | 1526539 Yes_Questions
Yes_Questions's picture



Especially with regards to Federal Income Tax.  People tend to think of all taxes being created equal and that is simply not the case.  For those of us W-4'ers, fewer every day, the "Correct Federal Income Tax" withheld from our pay should always be zero.  This tax is a direct consequence of the FED's existence and activity and is wholly intended to keep working people from forming enough capital to breath life into an entrepreneurial livelihood.  The federal income tax on working people must be understood more widely as the freedom/wealth destroying tool it was always intended to be. 

Fri, 08/05/2011 - 11:00 | 1526834 tarsubil
tarsubil's picture

Are there any resources for how to do this safely? I'd like to try it out.

Fri, 08/05/2011 - 09:19 | 1526470 Dangertime
Dangertime's picture



But you can still vote other people's tax money to yourself, even if you don't have any skin in the game.

Isn't democracy great?

Fri, 08/05/2011 - 09:12 | 1526389 Cvillian
Cvillian's picture

Green poots. Perhaps some intervention to weaken the $ versus CNY/RMB may help our manufacturing job losses (a la PTJ's claim)? 


26, not 16 years. 

Fri, 08/05/2011 - 09:03 | 1526390 Caviar Emptor
Caviar Emptor's picture

The unbearable lightness of employment


The unbelievable stupidity of building an economic growth model based on outsourcing.


Thank you, 1980s. 

Fri, 08/05/2011 - 09:10 | 1526422 AccreditedEYE
AccreditedEYE's picture

So, so true. You cannot have the levels of growth and prosperity that we used to have in this country without a middle class. Much as they keep trying to engineer some "financial fix" while at the same time spouting that "the middle class needs to become more skilled", the market keeps slamming them back down again.

Fri, 08/05/2011 - 09:17 | 1526455 Pay Day Today
Pay Day Today's picture

Do you really need a middle class to create wealth when you can electronically print it instead?

Fri, 08/05/2011 - 09:30 | 1526510 AccreditedEYE
AccreditedEYE's picture

I'm speaking about REAL wealth, not the monopoly kind that the market has become so addicted to.  

Fri, 08/05/2011 - 09:56 | 1526596 Pay Day Today
Pay Day Today's picture

I know, I know, I meant to use the <sarcasm> tags...

Fri, 08/05/2011 - 09:11 | 1526434 Debt-Penitent
Debt-Penitent's picture

I voted for Perot, just to watch the drama unfold.  The show would have been worth it.

Fri, 08/05/2011 - 09:11 | 1526436 GeneMarchbanks
GeneMarchbanks's picture

Kundera references will not get you green Mr Emptor. Reading is not an activity most Americans enjoy as is clearly demonstrated in the Borders shut downs.

Outsourcing to humans is so yesterday...

Fri, 08/05/2011 - 09:23 | 1526483 SRV - ES339
SRV - ES339's picture

Great (simple) point we should all remember CE... the blind greed at the top (starting with Reagan's first term) killed the goose that laid the golden eggs... now they want the peasants to pay the bills! 

Do they teach Aesop at MIT or Harvard?

Fri, 08/05/2011 - 09:39 | 1526544 midtowng
midtowng's picture

It's an easy way to cut the unemployment rate - stop counting the unemployed.

Fri, 08/05/2011 - 10:23 | 1526690 ElvisDog
ElvisDog's picture

Bingo. You've got a future in the Obama administration my boy. Just like deficit spending adds to GDP. Setting the labor participation rate lower reduces unemployment.

Fri, 08/05/2011 - 09:00 | 1526393 malikai
malikai's picture

It would be awesome to do a multi-axis with labor participation and M3.

Fri, 08/05/2011 - 09:18 | 1526461 Pay Day Today
Pay Day Today's picture

U-6 should appear as well.

Fri, 08/05/2011 - 09:18 | 1526464 Dr. Richard Head
Dr. Richard Head's picture

That chart would truly encapsulate the reality behind the cause and effect of the decimation of the middle and poor class. 

Fri, 08/05/2011 - 09:03 | 1526397 Robslob
Robslob's picture

Zero by corporations is all you need to know...

Fri, 08/05/2011 - 09:13 | 1526445 scatterbrains
scatterbrains's picture

The real growth is in the unreported numbers of craigslist/ebay flippers of broken shit, scavengers, parts car sellers, dope pushers, metal scrappers, gas siphoners etc.... those industries are going gangbusters.



Fri, 08/05/2011 - 09:20 | 1526474 Pay Day Today
Pay Day Today's picture

Yes, welcome to the real growth economy. The de-industrialising scavenger one. You've seen it in documentaries on the developing world before. Now see it in a neighbourhood you live in.

Fri, 08/05/2011 - 09:21 | 1526478 Crisismode
Crisismode's picture

Salvage is the TRUE growth occupation.


Within a few years, the American landfills will become the single largest source of mining activity.

Fri, 08/05/2011 - 09:04 | 1526399 Archimedes
Archimedes's picture

This really should be the only chart you need to see. Talk about Base Jumping! And with Robots replacing human slaves in China the future does not look bright for the US worker.


Fri, 08/05/2011 - 09:04 | 1526400 Cdad
Cdad's picture

Ah, the '80s.  What a time in America.  Crappy cars, no jobs, lousy metal garage band music...but the hair...the big hair.  

Give me a job not later revised away [how sweet would it be to be on the right side of the particiapation rate?]...and big hair on all the chicks.

Fri, 08/05/2011 - 09:09 | 1526428 Caviar Emptor
Caviar Emptor's picture

The "Service Economy", The "New Paradigm", Outsourcing eveything to China, Shop till ya drop.

Reagan/Tatcherism: oustource 

Fri, 08/05/2011 - 09:16 | 1526452 GeneMarchbanks
GeneMarchbanks's picture

In other words: a spiritual and aesthetic vacuum; the beginning of the end. Like hopelessness and despair had a lust child. There is direct link here from:  'lousy metal garage band music...but the hair...the big hair.' To what we have now. Which is Lady Gaga.

Fri, 08/05/2011 - 09:14 | 1526454 gordengeko
gordengeko's picture

"... and big hair on all the chicks."

...and bushes.  er second thought, nevermind.

Fri, 08/05/2011 - 09:05 | 1526403 Paul Thomason
Paul Thomason's picture

Looks like a nice Neil Diamond Topping Pattern.

Fri, 08/05/2011 - 09:31 | 1526514 Dr. Richard Head
Dr. Richard Head's picture

To the tune of Cracklin’ Rosie –


Labor force participation

We’re gonna print ‘till there ain’t no more ta go

Toner is low

Ben, don’t’cha know

I’ll have no job by the time he's finished yeah

Fri, 08/05/2011 - 09:05 | 1526408 curbyourrisk
curbyourrisk's picture

The probably told the bean counters what the end result was.....they are now trying to figure out exactly what they ahve to show ino order to get the math right.  This could take a while.

Fri, 08/05/2011 - 09:06 | 1526413 Dr. Richard Head
Dr. Richard Head's picture

The new job in Amerika has become one receiving SNAP, Unemployment Insurance, and eating of iPods.  One can plainly see that government can create jobs - for JP Morgan. The processing of 45.8 million in food stamps is mother fucking hard work. 

Fri, 08/05/2011 - 09:32 | 1526520 Forward History
Forward History's picture

But I love those cute little SNAP commercials on the radio. Makes me feel warm and fuzzy and lets me know the government is like a big, friendly buddy always looking out for me.

Fri, 08/05/2011 - 09:06 | 1526414 Bolweevil
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La madre de todos cabezas y brazos.

Fri, 08/05/2011 - 09:27 | 1526502 Crisismode
Crisismode's picture

El padre de todos los pendejos.

Fri, 08/05/2011 - 09:15 | 1526416 Mercury
Mercury's picture

Those pulling the wagon vs.

Those in the wagon.

** Hey, this chart looks like......a rainbow!

Fri, 08/05/2011 - 09:07 | 1526419 bania
bania's picture



An out-of-work broker asked a friend who owned a circus for work. His friend said the circus gorilla had recently died, and if the broker wanted to get into the gorilla's skin, swing around, growl, and amuse the children, he could have the job. Things went well until one day the rope the “gorilla” was swinging on snapped and catapulted him into the lions cage. The lion let out a roar, which the “gorilla” answered with a timid yelp. The lion roared louder, and the “gorilla” lost his nerve and started screaming for help. The lion came closer and whispered “Shut up, you damned fool, you're not the only broker out of a job.”

Fri, 08/05/2011 - 09:08 | 1526420 FunkyMonkeyBoy
FunkyMonkeyBoy's picture

1984 is appropriate in more ways than one.

Fri, 08/05/2011 - 09:09 | 1526424 Steelpulse
Steelpulse's picture

Tyler, I think you meant the lowest participation rate in 26 years...

Fri, 08/05/2011 - 09:09 | 1526425 orca
orca's picture

Actually, 1984 is a 26-year low

Fri, 08/05/2011 - 10:29 | 1526721 mnevins2
mnevins2's picture

Yeah, I was thinking of commenting on the need to add another 10+ years, but was simply too overwhelmed with my flashbacks from that period - with still another year to go until my MBA was obtained and I could make a second attempt to find a job.  Lots of similarities between the early 80's and today regarding employment.

Fortunately, though, we have Mr. "Hope and Change" at the helm - versus the EVIL Reagan.  I'm much more confident with the former than the latter, right?

Fri, 08/05/2011 - 09:09 | 1526429 FoieGras
FoieGras's picture

Welcome to Japan. Where are all those guys who were yapping "We're not Japan" on CNBC just 12 months ago???

Fri, 08/05/2011 - 09:11 | 1526435 trillion_dollar...
trillion_dollar_deficit's picture

Using an extremely generous historical average of oh say 65.5%, we're probably in 11% territory.

Fri, 08/05/2011 - 09:11 | 1526439 monopoly
monopoly's picture

But but they did not mention that on the idiot channel Tyler, it can't be true. Gonna add more miners either at the close today or next week. This is a gift all.

The insanity continues.

Fri, 08/05/2011 - 09:10 | 1526442 snowball777
snowball777's picture


Big brother's watching, we watch him back

We see right through his disguise

He tries to scare us, with angry words

But we all know that they're lies

Whole world is waiting

Just see the fear in their eyes

(Wake up),

it's 1984

(Wake up),

but we've been here before

Fri, 08/05/2011 - 13:06 | 1527465 Mec-sick-o
Mec-sick-o's picture

I prefer this one, also from another 1984:

Fri, 08/05/2011 - 09:13 | 1526443 spanish inquisition
spanish inquisition's picture

That can't be right because unemployment was 10% in January 1984 and now it is only 9.1%. lol

Fri, 08/05/2011 - 09:13 | 1526444 billwilson
billwilson's picture

Deficit will not decrease much as long as participation rate stays low.

Fri, 08/05/2011 - 09:16 | 1526450 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture

The Telepropmter's speech for later today was leaked.  Here is the gist of it...


Hire the fucking dips you fucking idiots.

Fri, 08/05/2011 - 09:17 | 1526458 Monedas
Monedas's picture

The poor have bad work habits and get low marks for entreprenurial spirit ! Monedas 2011 The "Poor" are not "Sacred Cows" ......they take off their pants one leg at a time and should keep them on more !

Fri, 08/05/2011 - 09:28 | 1526501 Pay Day Today
Pay Day Today's picture

I for one disagree. It takes a lot of initiative to find loose bits of building equipment and copper cabling to steal and sell for scrap. How much more entrepreneurial do you want?


Also its pretty disingenuous to blame "the poor" for the predicament that the economy is in. Since all the real screwed up shit in the economy was planned by and signed off on by people in $3500 suits wearing $200 ties.

Fri, 08/05/2011 - 09:35 | 1526530 Forward History
Forward History's picture

The planning might have been done, but you're letting the users off and blaming the dealers. Everyone was culpable in this mess.

Fri, 08/05/2011 - 10:34 | 1526733 Pay Day Today
Pay Day Today's picture

Alls I'm saying is that when apportioning blame, 90% of it goes to the top 0.1% in the country.

They're the ones who have made off like bandits over the last 5 years, convincing everyone that they really really did deserve all those megabonuses because they really were doing such great jobs as Captains of the Economy.

And as the economy smashes over the next 6 months, they'll still be raking the wealth in for themselves even as food stamp numbers sail past 50M.

Fri, 08/05/2011 - 12:48 | 1527397 jomama
jomama's picture

you're responding to a poster who spammed this in every comment for months.

Fri, 08/05/2011 - 09:21 | 1526477 gookempucky
gookempucky's picture

population 1984 was 234 million.....labor force 118 million

population today round 330 million...labor force 135 million

many millions of people have disapeared

Fri, 08/05/2011 - 09:46 | 1526557 midtowng
midtowng's picture

Good catch!

I was thinking, "Well, the population has gotten older, so more people are retired", but that should have been caught in the participation rate and obviously hasn't been.

Fri, 08/05/2011 - 09:47 | 1526496 citrine
citrine's picture

Here is what I see on Bloomberg as of 7/29/2011:

US Full employment declined to 111,859 from 111,907 as of 6/30/11

US Employment Population Ratio declined to 58.1 from 58.2 as of 6/30/11

How is it good? Am I missing something?

Fri, 08/05/2011 - 09:27 | 1526503 Cynical Centaur
Cynical Centaur's picture

Labor Farce Participation Rates.


How does the BLS data include people in the labor force.

If one drops out of the unemployment system after X weeks of unemployment benefits, I would think that they would still be at least doing a cursory search for work. They, however, are no longer in the "system", so does the government counts them as being out of labor force at that point? This leaves numerous people who would like to work but can't locate suitable employment out of the government data and out of sight from a statistical standpoint.

This gives a misreading of the true level of unemployment in the country.

Fri, 08/05/2011 - 09:32 | 1526518 Lazane
Lazane's picture

me once thought the service sector side of the economy was better insulated from these particular economic woes and slows, though me now thinks because my personal service sectors are off a staggering 30-35 % , this current malaise is turning into decomp very quickly.

Fri, 08/05/2011 - 10:29 | 1526722 ElvisDog
ElvisDog's picture

The problem is that other than grocery stores, gas stations, and maybe a couple of other examples, most of the service sector is frivilous discretionary crap that people can easily live without. Look at the ads for Groupon or LivingSocial for good examples. I would argue the service sector is more susceptible to economic downturn because when times get tough people can do without designer cupcakes, nail salons, doggie daycare, and so on.

Fri, 08/05/2011 - 09:32 | 1526519 Lazane
Lazane's picture

me once thought the service sector side of the economy was better insulated from these particular economic woes and slows, though me now thinks because my personal service sectors are off a staggering 30-35 % , this current malaise is turning into decomp very quickly.

Fri, 08/05/2011 - 09:48 | 1526564 Mec-sick-o
Mec-sick-o's picture

This is getting so Orwellian... even 1984 labor-force is back!

Fri, 08/05/2011 - 09:56 | 1526594 Mediocritas
Mediocritas's picture

Head and shoulders bitchez

Fri, 08/05/2011 - 10:49 | 1526796 DosZap
DosZap's picture

Get ready for more of this,this is what breeds hatred, and race wars............people arm yourselves.

REFUSE to be a victim. 

Fri, 08/05/2011 - 10:54 | 1526821 glenlloyd
glenlloyd's picture

They just attack the problem from a different angle. If we can't slice off another group and exclude them from unemployment like we've done with others we'll just alter the underlying data like participation rate.


Fri, 08/05/2011 - 11:32 | 1527013 Spigot
Spigot's picture

You are watching the ejection of supplus workers from an economy that no longer can support their employment ever again.

My suggestions to those (mainly older workers) is to take your skills and knowledge, your insight into the inner works of the companies that fired you, and create your own businesses to put those suckers out of a job just as soon as you can.

It will indeed be a sweet victory.

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