Record 1.2 Million People Fall Out Of Labor Force In One Month, Labor Force Participation Rate Tumbles To Fresh 30 Year Low

Tyler Durden's picture

A month ago, we joked when we said that for Obama to get the unemployment rate to negative by election time, all he has to do is to crush the labor force participation rate to about 55%. Looks like the good folks at the BLS heard us: it appears that the people not in the labor force exploded by an unprecedented record 1.2 million. No, that's not a typo: 1.2 million people dropped out of the labor force in one month! So as the labor force increased from 153.9 million to 154.4 million, the non institutional population increased by 242.3 million meaning, those not in the labor force surged from 86.7 million to 87.9 million. Which means that the civilian labor force tumbled to a fresh 30 year low of 63.7% as the BLS is seriously planning on eliminating nearly half of the available labor pool from the unemployment calculation. As for the quality of jobs, as withholding taxes roll over Year over year, it can only mean that the US is replacing high paying FIRE jobs with low paying construction and manufacturing. So much for the improvement.

Chart below shows it all - that jump is not a fat finger!

And Labor Force Participation:

This is the largest absolute jump in 'Persons Not In Labor Force' on record...and biggest percentage jump in 30 years.

Chart: Bloomberg

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William113's picture

But but but King Obama says we are at 8.3 % he wouldn't lie to us.

Au Shucks's picture

When will people realize it has NOTHING to do with the President?  The President is a puppet who's ass is so full of hands he shits finger nail clippings.  The President is there to act like a lightening rod coupled with a propaganda tool.  If the public's anger is with the President, it is very simple for those in actual control to foster a debate over a better Presidential candidate and thereby quell uprisings, popular revolt, skepticism about the "two party, free democratic process".  Why instead do we insist on labeling problems dujour the responsibility of the rotating puppet who happens to be sitting in the egg shaped office at the time?  Are we truly insane as a population?  Do we truly not remember the repeated cycle of this game which always goes the same way... false promises, election, more of the same, ousting and replacement with new false promises, rinse, repeat?  The President doesn't even have a SAY in important matters.  It's not a matter of their backbone or convictions, it's a matter of the fact that they would not BE the President if they would not accept their masters' hands rectally.  Obama's fault, Bush's fault, Regan's fault, blah, blah, blah.  No, it is OUR fault for allowing this routine to continue unabated.  We've allowed ourselves to be subjugated to the level of worse than peasant, to ignorant, apathetic peasant.  And why would anybody in power seek to change if not forced to change?  If they did, that would make THEM insane.  I personally believe we are evolving as a humanity and that soon, very soon hopefully, the power structure we live within will be dissolved entirely.  Until then, if you choose to continue wasting your time believing in the "political" system or process, at least do so in a manner that doesn't demonstrate complete lack of understanding and validates the ignorant, apathetic peasant model.

No offense intended, of course.

Cathartes Aura's picture

::cue applause::

voting.  it's the least you can do.

tired1's picture

FYI; you're getting a boost from Limbaugh about this article.

Vidbizz's picture

Hey, maybe if we get 4 mil more off the Labor Force, we can lower the U3 to ...6%!

Dr. Engali's picture

You can't make this shit up, but apparently they can.

Badabing's picture

But they do make this shit up!

all of it including the 8:30am silver/gold smack down

The Limerick King's picture



Thank God for the UE surprise

Election year hopes can now rise!

All the green shoots

Have sprouted new roots

For we know BLS never lies!!!

francis_sawyer's picture

Gonna need a few more paper plates & napkins for all the new 'useless eaters'...

JPM Hater001's picture

Good eye old man.  Now everybody - SING!

Sha na na na

Sha na na na

Hey Hey Hey- Good bye.

victor82's picture


You can't make this shit up, but apparently they can.



With respect, sir, get with the fucking program.

It's "YES WE CAN!"


michaelsmith_9's picture

Good NFP date is likely to be the catalyst to the market moving higher.  Here is a look at the ES, EURUSD, and CL.  Our bullish expectations continue for the weeks ahead.

Hansel's picture

Tyler, I can't figure out what this was supposed to mean: "the non institutional population increased by 242.3 million".  Did you take a BLS statistics course?

Monedas's picture

Excludes negroes in jail and liberals in assylums and charity organizations !  Monedas  2012  Muslim Tribal States:Tiny Jewish Democracy = Tom 'n' Jerry Khartoons

grid-b-gone's picture

Sell into strength, buy into weakness.

frostfan's picture

Yippee, at this rate, I'll be out a job and not participating in no time!!!!!!!

JPM Hater001's picture

All you need is the Disability Compensation thing... - This really is a must watch if you havent seen the Kids In the Hall...

Matt's picture

I heard railroads were dangerous, but 98% of people who retire, do so on disability retirement? Even the white collar workers?

Those poor bastards should be getting hazard pay and more comprehensive benefits.

Larry Darrell's picture

If all you want out of life is a disability compensation check, they are really easy to get.


I met a healthy young man years ago who received this regular check.  Asked him how in the hell he qualified.

He told the board he couldn't work with people because of his mental instability.  Paid a shrink cash under the table to testify on his behalf.

Here's what he told them to seal the deal--I'll never forget it. 


"I can't even watch football because when they get into the huddle I know they're all talking about me."



JPM Hater001's picture

I joined a golf club about 15 years ago...public course...and I met a lady who played daily.  She was on disability so she could barely get in 18 holes some day because of her headaches...

pods's picture

<scratches head>

I bet you I could just print out my ZH rants and would not even have to hire a shrink!


RyanW525's picture

I'm sure this is priced into the market....

Schmuck Raker's picture

S&P and EUR diverging like Marty Feldman's eyes.

wonderatitall's picture



westerman's picture

It can be three things: Aliens beeming people to other parts of the universe, a hidden zombie invasion or cheating numbers.

TruthInSunshine's picture

LOLstatistic of the day:

Wow. But Is the Number Real? 

February 3, 2012, 10:13 am


How many jobs did the American economy add in January?


The Labor Department estimated on Friday that the economy gained 243,000 jobs.


The department also estimated that the economy lost 2,689,000 jobs in the month.

The difference in the two numbers is in seasonal adjustment. Employment always falls in January, as temporary Christmas jobs end. So the government applies seasonal adjustment factors in an effort to discern the real trend of the economy apart from seasonal fluctuations. The actual survey showed the big loss in jobs. The seasonal adjustments produced the reported gain of 243,000 jobs.

A reason to doubt the number is that there has been a tendency in this cycle for the seasonal factors to overstate moves, in both directions. Labor mobility is down, as fewer workers quit to seek better jobs and employers both hire and fire fewer people than they used to do. If the seasonal adjustment was too large, then the gain should be smaller.


LOLstatistics Moment of the Day, sponsored by JP Morgan.

JP Morgan™ reminds everyone to eat their peas.

francis_sawyer's picture

"I'll grind ye bones to make my bread"

francis_sawyer's picture

One of Paul Krugman's trusted associates assured him that the moon is made out of government cheese...

That's why he believes so strongly in the "alien invasion" scenario...

Sandy15's picture

And this news will be heard NO where on MSM..............

pods's picture

Can confirm this.  New jan employment numbers and rate left this little nugget out. Of course by mistake.


PaperBear's picture

Gold/silver being whacked post-release of NFP - down to $1,745/oz and $33.69/oz - but now going back up.

victor82's picture

They all went to ZH to get this news and realized that once again, the BLS is the BS for a reason.

Suckers. I thought the Gold Traders weren't.

Lost Wages's picture

Let's destroy work! Let's destroy the economy!

evolutionx's picture

The year of the world’s great geopolitical swing

Hoped for by some, dreaded by others, QE3 is generally presented as the ultimate weapon to save the US economy and financial system which, contrary to the dominating chatter of these last weeks, continues to deteriorate . Whether the FED launches out with QE3 or not, QE3 will be without any doubt the major financial event of 2012 whose consequences will mark the world financial and monetary system definitively.

And QE3 will play a determining role in the world’s great geopolitical swing in 2012 because this year will, in particular, see the last attempts of the world’s dominant powers of before-the-crisis to maintain their global power, whether it be in strategic, economic or financial matters. When we use the term “last” we want to stress that after 2012 their power will be weakened too much to still be able to claim maintaining this privileged situation.



LawsofPhysics's picture

LOL!  With ZIRP for ever and open swap windows, QE never stopped.  Thanks for the laugh.

docj's picture

Ah, that pretty much explains everything.

Juice the number the sheeple and the media (BIRM) pay attention to. Bury the actual facts on a middle-back page, below the fold.

Bread, meet Circuses.

Oh, and BULLISH!

azzhatter's picture

That explain the UE rate but it still looks like a good number of new jobs on the surface. Now the quality of those jobs is another story.

docj's picture

Exactly - what is the quality of a statistically-created fictional job, I wonder.

pepperspray's picture

Starbucks Frapaccino bottles break easily on impact

holdbuysell's picture

Where's that deer in headlights pic? I'm having one of those moments.