Dig just a bit deeper, and you will see that 0.2% of that drop (or half the total drop) was from a decrease in the "participation rate" from 64.5 to 64.3 of the population. So half of the good news reflects that people have dropped out of the work force and have given up looking for work.
This morning's unemployment report was a mixed bag. Yes, the unemployment rate went down. But, actually, that's because people are choosing to drop out of the work force altogether.
December's unemployment rate was released this morning by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. U-3 unemployment dropped from 9.8% last month to 9.4% this month. The U-6 number dropped from 17% to 16.7%. Only 103,000 jobs were added, however, which indicates that the drop in unemployment was more due to people leaving the labor force than getting jobs.
The nation’s unemployment rate dropped four-tenths of a point to 9.4% in December but the number of jobs added fell short of expectations. ... Also, the civilian labor force participation rate did drop to 64.3%, which indicates that people are still leaving the work force rather than rejoining it.
People are dropping out of the work force? Leaving the labor force? Giving up looking for work?
That's unpossible. Michelle Obama flatly told us:
Barack Obama will require you to work. He is going to demand that you shed your cynicism. That you put down your divisions. That you come out of your isolation, that you move out of your comfort zones. That you push yourselves to be better. And that you engage. Barack will never allow you to go back to your lives as usual, uninvolved, uninformed.
Attention all discouraged workers: Obama requires that you not be. Get back to work.