The number of people not in participating in the labor force the hit another record high in December, data released Friday shows.
According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a record 91,808,000 people did not participate in the labor force last month.
While the BLS announced Friday that the unemployment rate dropped from 7 percent to 6.7 percent, much of that drop is attributable to people leaving the workforce — employers only added 74,000 jobs in December, the fewest in three years according to the Associate Press.
With many dropping out of the workforce, the labor participation rate hit 62.8 percent, meeting the record low felt in October. Prior to October, however, the last time the labor participation rate was that low was March of 1978.
Speaker of the House John Boehner slammed the situation, saying Americans have a right to be asking “Where are the jobs?”
“There are more families living in poverty today than there were before the president took office, and instead of making it easier to find a good-paying job, Washington has been more focused on making it less difficult to live without one,” he said in a statement, pointing to the House passed “pro-growth jobs” bills as a possible solution. Those bills are currently stalled in the Senate.
The White House said the report shows “progress,” but that there is “a lot more work to do.”
“Though December’s job growth was less than expected, we continue to focus on the longer-term trend in the economy: 2.2 million private sector jobs added and a 1.2 percentage point decline in the unemployment rate over the course of 2013,” Jason Furman, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, said, going on to advocate for an extension of unemployment insurance benefits.