The Obama Economy; Lowest Labor Participation Rate Since 1978

Another new low for the Spite House as a record 91,800,000 American Adults of working wage are not participating in the labor force.

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

By “Tyler Durden” ZeroHedge

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.

And it, like all the other products of the POR economy, remains a steaming pile of excrement.

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  • GarandFan

    Ain’t Obamanomics wonderful? Let’s break out the hot chocolate and talk about health care! And with that many unemployed, it’s a great time to ask for a raise!

    • http://wizbangblog.com/author/rodney-graves/ Rodney G. Graves

      With “improvement” and “growth” like this…

  • jim_m

    Not a bug, it’s a feature.

  • Hank_M

    I have no doubt that the MSM will brag about the lower unemployment rate as a sign of an economy that continues to improve.

    Low information media feeding the LIV’s.

  • http://www.rustedsky.net JLawson

    Well, shit.

    Hey, Obama promised a fundamental transformation!

    How ya liking it, Obama voters?

  • 914

    Barry traded in the hockey stick for a boomerang.

    • http://www.traveLightgame.com/ ljcarolyne

      ha ha & he can’t do either one, only play golf with his boyfriend. No wonder he wanted to keep MO in Hawaii at the taxpayers expense.

  • Walter_Cronanty

    We’re still 1.3 million jobs behind where we were pre-recession [remind me, when did the recession end?]. Add to that the fact that, at least as of August, 75% of the jobs added in 2013 were part-time and you have a fool-proof formula for “…a steaming pile of excrement.”
    Yeah Obama! Yeah Progs!

  • Walter_Cronanty

    Hey, at least the Fed spent over $1 trillion dollars so we could create fewer jobs in 2013 than in 2012.

  • LiberalNightmare

    Just think how bad it would be, if it weren’t for 0bama’s laser-like focus on job creation?

    • http://wizbangblog.com/author/rodney-graves/ Rodney G. Graves

      Death by laser focus…

    • jim_m

      If obama had really focused on the economy then it would work as well as healthcare.gov. … Oh, never mind.

    • 914

      Solyndra is what happens when Barry laser ups.

      • jim_m

        Yep, his friends get rich and everyone else loses their job.

  • ackwired

    It looks like the trend down started with the Great Recession in 2008. I find it surprising that it peaked at only 66-67%. It would be interesting to study cause and effect surrounding this number. I doubt the decline is simply because there is a Democrat in the White House. Presidents tend to get far too much credit and far too much blame for economic conditions.

    • jim_m

      The decline isn’t because there is a dem in the White House. It is because there is an incompetent, anti-capitalist in the White House. (Now, I am perfectly willing to entertain arguments that the ven diagram of these two descriptions overlaps entirely)

      It peaks at just over 67% because at some point there are people who are raising children, disabled, in school, retired early, etc. that will always prevent the participation rate from being 100%.

      • http://wizbangblog.com/author/rodney-graves/ Rodney G. Graves

        The final 18 months before the bottom fell out were the POR economy, for the record.

      • ackwired

        Hmmm…it actually peaked and started down in 2000. So I guess that there have been more than one incompetent, anti-capitalist as president. It seems to me that an economy that can only provide jobs for 2 out of 3 adults is cause for concern and could well be analyzed beyond name calling.

        • jim_m

          Sigh. No. It dropped after 9/11 due to the recession and was recovering until Dear Leader came along.

          Remember we are spending $1T more per year under obama because that is going to turn the economy around and get people back to work.

          More like it’s going to line the pockets of his friends/

          • ackwired

            Well, the chart in Rodney’s article shows that it peaked in 2000. So sigh at him and not me.

          • jim_m

            And it starts to recover in 04 dumbass.

          • ackwired

            I’m not sure “recover” is applicable to this statistic. But it gave you an excuse for another childish insult. If you need to deny that the chart peaks in 2000 and starts down for some reason, it’s OK with me.

          • jim_m

            It does peak then. It drops until 2004 and then flattens out and appears to start to rise again. Then after 2008 it nose dives.

            Go ahead and pretend that this is not due to obama’s assault on capitalism and free markets. Notice that the slope of decline is much steeper with obama than it was under Bush. Bush sought to arrest that decline, obama seeks to increase it because he wants more people dependent upon the government.

          • ackwired

            Glad to see you recognize the peak. Your ideological interpretation does not surprise me, not does your fear of my wanting an objective analysis.

          • jim_m

            You don’t want an objective analysis, you want one that fits your ideological desires. You see exactly the same thing I see but you want an ideological explanation that allows you to claim something different.

          • ackwired

            Jim, wait three days, reread this thread, and see if you still feel the same way. My point from the start is that we should understand why our economy only provides jobs for 2 out of 3 adults. Your immediate argument is that no analysis is necessary because you know all of the answers (of course, ideologues always know all of the answers).

          • jim_m

            And in your ignorance you ask why the rates are higher than they were several generations ago.

            You forget that prior to the great depression the rate would have been far lower because most women did not work outside the home. So you ask why the historically high rate is not higher (ignorantly ignoring the dramatic change in the culture over the last 100 years) whereas I ask why has it fallen recently when the cultural norms have not changed.

            Go ahead and try to sound ever so sophisticated. You sound like a fool who has paid zero attention to this issue and now want to sound wise.

          • ackwired

            So last post you assumed I was an ideologue and now you assume I’m ignorant. Actually you are finally paying attention. I don’t even know how long they have kept this statistic. But I’d guess that it is not nearly as long as you are assuming. I also stated in my original post that I was surprised that the economy only provided jobs for 2 out of 3 people. If you are aware of the statistic ever being higher than that, I would appreciate the information. You can insult me some more too, if it makes you feel good.

          • jim_m

            I don’t know how long they have kept that stat. I do know that women as a significant part of the workforce is a post WWII thing (hell, it’s really just a last 40-50 year thing).

            I do not believe it has ever been higher. But the change has been predominantly in one direction. This becomes obvious when you face the fact that it is now at a 35 year low.

          • ackwired

            Be careful of the obvious. It is obvious that a heavier object will fall faster than a lighter object. I think that you will find that the real pivot point occurred in the late 70′s.

          • jim_m

            It is obvious that a heavier object will fall faster than a lighter object.

            I think you will find that science has understood since the 17th century that all objects fall at the same speed independent of mass.

            This is a basic fact of physics performed in grade school classrooms.

            So you ought to be very careful about stating what you think is obvious, because it is obvious that you don’t know jack.

          • ackwired

            LOL…That was my point! What is obvious is often not true. Without factual evidence it is easy to make mistakes by going with what is obvious…

          • jim_m

            Nice try. You still looked like a fool.

          • Constitution First

            You really do live in an alternate universe, I suspected as much.

          • jim_m

            A better question would have been why does our economy only provide jobs for 88% of those who would want them? Better yet would be why does our current admin find it necessary to lie about the unemployment rate by manipulating the size of the labor force?

            Your question presumes that 100% of all adults are capable and want a job. That supposition is pure ignorance. That has never been the case in any society. So my last question is why are you asking such an idiotic question?

          • ackwired

            Do you really think it is idiotic to think that 67% is low? Intersting.

          • jim_m

            Historically, yes. Your comment shows a profound lack of understanding of the labor market and society.

            The criticism is that the current rate is at a 35 year low. Based on that you ask why it wasn’t higher to begin with. How about why has it fallen? Never mind examining obama’s failure, you just go , “Hey look! A shiny!”

          • ackwired

            You are focused on the fact that it has fallen 4% in 8 years. I agree that is a concern. But I am focused on the fact that the best our economy could do is provide jobs for 2 out of 3 adults. If you have any FACTS that would shed light on this, I would be interested. I am less interested in your opinions and your constant harangues that your logic and your conclusions are the only things of value.

          • jim_m

            You are focused on the shiny object you think can be used to distract everyone from obama’s failure.

            If you think that the participation rate should be higher then please point out a nation that had a higher rate and when they had it.

          • ackwired

            There you go again, just making it up so you can argue with yourself.

          • jim_m

            I confess. I was wrong. There was a time when the labor participation rate was significantly higher – at least for one racial demographic. It was 100% for blacks in the pre civil war south.

            I suppose that obama is trying to make up for that today by making sure that blacks have a historically low participation rate.

            The rate for African American men fell 0.7 percentage points to 65.6 percent, the lowest on record.

            But hey, if Ackwired is advocating the return of slavery, who am I to argue with him. It isn’t like the left supported slavery from the get go.

            Of course the other place where there was 100% participation rate was in the old Soviet Union. But then they also had universal poverty. Seems like we keep on running into things that the left supports: Slavery and universal poverty.

          • ackwired

            LOL.. clearly you have no facts to offer. But, hey, has it occurred to you that if 62% is bad that 66% is also bad? Or is everything just an excuse to rant about your ideology?

          • jim_m

            It occurred to me that when we are having historically high labor participation rates and historically low unemployment that we are about as close to employing everyone who wants to work as we ever have.

            What is the alternative? Forcing people who don’t want to work to get jobs?

            On what basis do you think that the number is still too low? You think that it should be higher then where are you getting the people? Once again, you have no idea, you just think it ought to be higher so you are willing to accept any fascist left wing proposal that gets you closer to the utopian outcome that you have decided would be best. You have no rationale, but you are willing to force people to do things they don’t want to because you think it is better.

          • ackwired

            Do you not read or just not comprehend. ” It would be interesting to study cause and effect surrounding this number.” The operative word is study. I know you think it is better to just assume, so go ahead.

          • jim_m

            Your baseline presumption was that the participation rate was somehow lower than it should have been. I just pointed out that not only was it historically high (which you acknowledge) but also that we enjoyed record low unemployment.

            The combination of record high participation and record low unemployment means that you don’t really have the ability to go any higher. What’s to study?

            If you are claiming that it is too low then how exactly do you propose getting the participation rate higher? The only answer is to force people to work. I suppose we could open up Ackwired Forced Labor Camps in order to achieve your dream. Maybe we could try that to increase the participation rate and see how the people like it. If they don’t like it I am sure you will say that we simply didn’t force enough people to work and that we should have done more.

          • ackwired

            That’s just what I said…you are here to prove that you know everything. So you have to go with your assumptions.

          • jim_m

            My point was that you are wondering why it isn’t higher and I am telling you that it is hard to see how it could possibly be higher.

            If you are wondering what the max rate is, under the current societal conditions we have already pretty much seen it. Unless society changes we are unlikely to see any dramatic shifts. Perhaps a continued increase from the peak, but not anything else. The current decline is not willing, it is enforced by a crappy economy.

    • Walter_Cronanty

      No, it’s not because Obama is in the White House. If it were solely up to him, the decline would be greater.
      It’s because of the decades long crusade of the left to install their Holy Trinity of governance:
      1. Overbearing Regulatory State [Fed, State and Local], which has now expanded to include anti-affordable energy policies;
      2. Central Planning, because the elites, many of whom have spent their lives doing nothing of economic value [see, current resident of White House], think they know everything; and,
      3. The Welfare State, which has now morphed into the euphemism of “income equality.”
      The two things in common for all three are: 1 Ignorance – willful or otherwise – of history and the law of unintended consequences; and, 2 Incredible hubris.

      • ackwired

        I’m not sure it’s that simply. But I think you have identified some contributing factors, particularly the welfare state. I would be careful about assuming that inequality and the welfare state are the same thin, however. Too much inequality inevitably leads to revolution while too much welfare state first leads to bankruptcy. But I think your 3 points should be examined in any analysis of why our economy only provides jobs for 2 out of 3 adults.

  • Walter_Cronanty

    Another chart showing that the unemployment rate, as compared to June of 2009 – when the recession ENDED, would be HIGHER now if people weren’t completely dropping out of the workforce. Heckuva job progs. If 5 million more people stop looking for work, we’ll have our unemployment rate down to pre-recession levels in no time:
    EDIT – forgot the linky http://thefederalist.com/2014/01/10/thank-labor-force-dropouts-not-new-jobs-for-a-falling-unemployment-rate/

    • jim_m
      • Walter_Cronanty

        Yep.

        • jim_m

          I guarantee that as soon as a republican is in the White House this becomes an issue that is on the network news 24/7.

          It’s funny how, under Bush, we had a high participation rate, unemployment under 5% and it was the worst economy in 200 years. Today we have the lowest participation rate since Carter, highest unemployment rates since Carter and the MSM tells us that the economy is booming.

          Yep, there isn’t any agenda setting the interpretation of the news.

          • LiberalNightmare

            This and Bridgeghazi.

  • Lawrence Westlake

    Truly a grim report, indeed. A 35 year low in the participation rate. Far less than 100,000 net payroll jobs created, many of them part-time, which would be pathetic job growth in a recession much less in a “recovery.” Obviously the chattering classes aren’t all that affected by this, given their ridiculous demographics, but on Main St. conditions are downright pitiable. Politics (elections), laws (Obamacare, Dodd-Frank, Lilly Ledbetter) and regulations (Greenhouse gases, coal power plants, LCFS, etc.), all have very severe consequences. Keep all that in mind when you’re sending your messages and proving your points, in Nov. 2016 and beyond.

  • Constitution First

    You are looking at only two possible scenarios:
    Either the government is totally inept, or this is the desired result.
    Cloward – Piven tells us it it the latter.

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