Unemployment rate 7.8% with dismal labor force.

Today’s monthly unemployment report for January reveals:

Among the marginally attached, there were 1.1 million discouraged workers in December, little changed from a year earlier. (These data are not seasonally adjusted.) Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them. The remaining 1.5 million persons marginally attached to the labor force in December had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey for reasons such as school attendance or family
responsibilities.

With a labor participation rate stuck at a 30 year low of 63.6%, this jobs report is awful, no matter how the media tries to portray it. From CNBC:

The U.S. employment picture continued its gradual improvement in December, adding 155,000 positions as the jobless rate held at 7.8 percent.

Economists had been expecting a slightly better result, but most of the major industries showed little change from their previous levels.

Health care and services were the biggest growth areas for the month.

The government had initially reported the November jobless rate at 7.7 percent but said Friday that number actually was 7.8 percent, meaning there was no change in the headline number.

The initial report for November showed an increase of 146,000 jobs but was revised higher to 161,000.

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