Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 252,000 in December, and the unemployment rate declined to 5.6 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Job gains occurred in professional and business services, construction, food services and drinking places, health care, and manufacturing.
The bad news is from BLS is:
The civilian labor force participation rate edged down by 0.2 percentage point to 62.7 percent in December. Since April, the participation rate has remained within a narrow range of 62.7 to 62.9 percent.
These are sustained lows we haven’t seen in 30 years, when the trend line was up, and they hit especially hard on younger workers and on men in their working prime who were laid off months or years ago.