A Bureau of Labor Statistics report released today shows that the U.S. U3 Unemployment Rate was 7.8% for December.
The Labor Force Participation rate matched its lowest total since the last recession of 63.6%.
The Washington Dispatch began tracking the current employment recovery against that following the 1980s recession with the release of January 2012 unemployment and labor force participation figures earlier this year.
Since unemployment peaked at 10% in October 2009, its decline has mirrored the decline in Labor Force Participation. Looking at the same number of months following peak unemployment of 10.8% in December 1982, Labor Force Participation rose while unemployment fell.
Declining labor force participation, stagnant unemployment, anemic GDP growth, and the Obama administration's economic policies and record continue to expose the U.S. economy to the risk of a "double-dip" recession.
The Employment--Population Ratio continues to hover around post-recession lows, declining to 58.6% in December:
Meanwhile the mean duration of unemployment tallied 38.1 weeks in December: