The Labor Department released the newest employment report. Unemployment ticked up to 7.3 percent in October [insert causal connection to government shut-down, the Tea Party, etc., here]. The chart of the day, however, is the labor force participation rate (h/t zerohedge).
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics: 204,000 jobs were added in October. However, a more striking statistic: “The civilian labor force was down by 720,000 in October. The labor force participation rate fell by 0.4 percentage point to 62.8 percent over the month.” In the last year, the number of unemployed has fallen from 11.7 million to 11.3 million whereas the number no longer in the workforce has increased from 88.2 million to 91.5 million.
To place things in perspective, the last time the labor force participation was this low was 1978.
UPDATE: Brad Plumer (Wonkblog) has a useful piece today on the dropping labor force participation rate with several good links.