Skip to main content
  1. Life
  2. Careers & Workplace
  3. Unemployment

Labor force declines for December and for 2013

See also

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released its monthly employment situation summary for Dec. 2013 on Jan.10. The data reflected the changes from November as well as year over year changes from Dec. 2012. The picture drawn is of an American economy in a grinding decline.

The employment situation continued its recent decline in the period from Nov. 2013 to Dec. 2013. The civilian labor force dropped by 347,000 while the number of Americans not in the labor force rose by 525,000. The difference? The entire population increase for the civilian population for the month, 178,000.

The number of unemployed fell by 490,000 from November and the number of working Americans rose by 143,000. The remaining unemployed left the labor force. Despite adding population, the number of Americans working or looking for work fell.

The civilian population rose by one percent from Dec. 2012 to Dec. 2013, just under 2.4 million people. In that same period, the civilian labor force declined by 0.4 percent, or by 548,000. Fewer Americans were working or looking for work at the end of 2013 than were at the end of 2012.

The number of unemployed fell by 1.9 million while the number of those employed increased by nearly 1.4 million. Those are great numbers without context. The context is that 2.9 million Americans left the labor force in that same period. The number of Americans no longer working or looking for work increased 3.3 percent during the year.

In Dec. 2012, 36.4 percent of the civilian population were not in the labor force. By Dec. 2013, that percentage had increased to 37.2 percent. Despite a one percent increase in population, a one percent increase in employed Americans and a 15.7 percent reduction in unemployed Americans, the employment situation was worse in Dec. 2013 than the year before. The labor force participation rate for Dec. 2013 was the lowest since 1977 at 62.8 percent. Just 59 Americans were working for every 100 Americans in the population.

The Dec. 2013 unemployment rate was 6.7 percent. The data shows that most of the unemployed are not obtaining jobs, but leaving the workforce. A dropping unemployment rate is only good news when accompanied by both an increase in the number employed as well as an increase in the labor force.

Advertisement

Life

  • Dead babies found
    Seven dead babies were found in Utah resident Megan Huntsman's old home
    Video
    Shocking Discovery
  • Kendall Jenner
    Get the Coachella looks: Kendall Jenner’s nose ring, green hair and edgy nails
    Camera
    Coachella Look
  • Dog's Easter basket
    How to fill your dog’s Easter basket with the perfect toys
    Easter Basket
  • Rabbit owners
    Bringing home the bunny: Important information for rabbit owners
    Camera
    7 Photos
  • Haunted island
    The world’s most haunted island may soon be the most haunted luxury resort
    Haunted Resort
  • Sunken ferry
    Search continues for missing passengers after a ferry sinks off the South Korean coast
    Video
    Sunken Ferry

Related Videos:

  • future stability of the stock market
    <div class="video-info" data-id="518184172" data-param-name="playList" data-provider="5min" data-url="http://pshared.5min.com/Scripts/PlayerSeed.js?sid=1304&width=480&height=401&playList=518184172&autoStart=true"></div>
  • Rep. John Boehner
    <div class="video-info" data-id="518076070" data-param-name="playList" data-provider="5min" data-url="http://pshared.5min.com/Scripts/PlayerSeed.js?sid=1304&width=480&height=401&playList=518076070&autoStart=true"></div>
  • graham
    <div class="video-info" data-id="518076070" data-param-name="playList" data-provider="5min" data-url="http://pshared.5min.com/Scripts/PlayerSeed.js?sid=1304&width=480&height=401&playList=518076070&autoStart=true"></div>

User login

Log in
Sign in with your email and password. Or reset your password.
Write for us
Interested in becoming an Examiner and sharing your experience and passion? We're always looking for quality writers. Find out more about Examiner.com and apply today!