446,000 Americans left the labor force in November. An all-time high of 95.1 million Americans are out of the labor force.
It’s pretty easy to say that the unemployment rate is down when people stop looking for work and rely on those who are working to subsidize their unemployed lives.
So much for that much anticipated rebound in the participation rate.
After it had managed to post a modest increase in the early part of the year, hitting the highest level in one year in March at 63%, the disenchantment with working has returned, and the labor force participation rate had flatlined for the next few month, ultimately dropping in November to 62.7%, just shy of its 35 year low of 62.4% hit last October. This can be seen in the surge of Americans who are no longer in the labor force, who spiked by 446,000 in November, hitting an all time high of 95.1 million.
As a result of this the US labor force shrank by 226,000 to 159,486K, down from 159,712K a month ago, and helped the unemployment rate tumble to 4.6%, the lowest level since August 2007.