While the economy added 211,000 jobs in November, the number of Americans not participating in the work force exceeded 94 million for a fourth month in a row, according to Labor Department data released Friday.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 94,446,000 people (ages 16 and over) in the U.S. were neither employed nor had made an effort to find work in the prior four weeks during the month of October.
The raw participation number represented a decline of 67,000 from October’s participation number and a decline of 164,000 compared to September’s record when 94,610,000 Americans were not participating in the workforce.
While fewer Americans were out of the labor force the labor force participation rate remained low, at 62.5 percent. The participation rate did ticked up 0.1 percentage points from last month, however it continued the trend of participation rates in recent months hovering around levels not seen since the late seventies.
In keeping, the civilian labor force last month grew by 273,000 people to 157,301,000 in November compared to October’s 157,028,000 level.
The unemployment rate was 5 percent and 149,364,000 were employed.
Additionally 7,937,000 were unemployed and 5,636,000 wanted a job last month.