How abysmal? Even the Los Angeles Times can’t spin this:
U.S. employers added a measly 74,000 new jobs last month, the government said Friday. That was the lowest jobs number in about three years and a major disappointment after a recent string of positive economic signs pointed to stronger growth.
The weak hiring confounded most analysts’ expectations for job growth of about 200,000, which was the monthly average of the prior three months. The construction sector, rather than resurging as some had predicted, shed a large 19,000 jobs to close out the year, although Labor Department officials said bad weather in parts of the country may have affected the payroll count.
Not confounded: Patterico readers, who know that the economy is in the toilet and won’t be coming out as long as the solution is more unemployment benefits, more ObamaCare, more regulation, and more government.
Fewer and fewer people are even looking for work:
Even as job growth was anemic, Labor Department officials reported that the nation’s unemployment rate fell to a new five-year low of 6.7% last month, from 7% in November.
However, the unusually large drop was for the wrong reason: Rather than more people entering the job market because of increasing confidence, there was a big drop of 347,000 in the labor force.
The so-called labor participation rate — the share of working-age people with jobs or looking for work — fell to 62.8% last month, from 63%, matching the level of two months ago that was the lowest since February 1978.
I’ll give the paper credit for at least not making the story (and headline) all about how the unemployment number fell.
But you know the rules: they’re allowed to tell more truth once the candidate is safely elected.