On Friday, the BLS released its monthly jobs report. The good news is that the unemployment stayed low at the low rate of 5.1 percent.
However, the results regarding the labor force participation rate (LFPR) and the number of jobs added are not as positive. Labor force participation fell to 62.4% - the lowest rate since October 1977. So there are still millions of workers sitting on the sidelines in the U.S. economy.
To understand just how low this rate is, consider that the LFPR has not been lower since women entered the labor force en masse in the 1960s and 1970s. To see this, let's look at the LFPR for men only (graphed below). The LFPR for men has not been lower since we began keeping records (1948). In fact, I would guess that the only era in U.S. history when this could possibly have been lower would be the Great Depression era - too bad we don't have that data.
Finally, the economy only added 142,000 jobs in the last month. This is low compared to both the current years' average of 198,000 and as well as 2014's average of 260,000.
Another reason economists are less enthusiastic about this report is that the number of jobs added for July and August is now revised downward - with 60,000 jobs added less than reporter earlier.