Oh but “unemployment” is down…….
A record 94,610,000 Americans were not in the American labor force last month — an increase of 579,000 from August — and the labor force participation rate reached its lowest point in 38 years, with 62.4 percent of the U.S. population either holding a job or actively seeking one.
In other disappointing news, the economy added only 142,000 jobs in September, well below economists’ expectations, but the unemployment rate remained at 5.1 percent, where it was in August.
The number of Americans not in the labor force has continued to rise, partly because of retiring baby-boomers and fewer workers entering the workforce.
In September, according to the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, the nation’s civilian noninstitutional population, consisting of all people 16 or older who were not in the military or an institution, reached 251,325,000. Of those, 156,715,000 participated in the labor force by either holding a job or actively seeking one.
The 156,715,000 who participated in the labor force equaled only 62.4 percent of the 251,325,000 civilian noninstitutional population. The last time the labor force participation was as low as 62.4 percent was in October 1977. (The rate had been 62.6 percent for the 3 months prior to September.)
The participation rate dropped for both men 20 years and older (the 71.3 percent in September is a record low in BLS data going back to 1948). It also dropped for women 16 years and older (56.4 percent participation rate in September compared with 56.7 percent in the two preceeding months).
Last month, 56,647,000 women 16 and older were not in the labor force, an increase of 394,000 from August and up 1,066,000 from September 2014.