Bureau of Labor Statistics: Nearly 93M Not Working

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According to new data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a record 92,898,000 Americans did not participate in the workforce last month.

What does that mean, exactly? Well, for starters, it's not quite the same thing as saying nearly 93 million Americans were unemployed. In fact, the unemployment rate declined to 5.6 percent in December, capping off a year when, as Council of Economic Advisor chairman Jason Furman said in a statement, unemployment fell faster than it had in three decades.

As Breitbart.com reports, the BLS statistic refers to people, aged 16 and older, who haven't "made specific efforts to find employment sometime during the 4-week period ending with the reference week." With an overall participation rate of 62.7 percent for December, the numbers are the lowest they've been since...wait for it...February 1978. To give you an idea of how long that is, in February 1978 Roman Polanski had only just been charged as a sex offender, and two of the top five songs on the pop charts were by the Bee Gees. If nothing else, it's a clear signal that, for all of the sunshine and rainbows about job growth picking up, we still have a long, long way to go.

Last month's rate of non-participation was 456,000 higher than it was in November, when the BLS reported 92,442,000 did not participate in the workforce. The statistic includes people who are not in the military or institutions like mental hospitals, nursings homes, or prisons. Head over to BLS for a full account of the data.
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