The January jobs report is another sign of how weak our economic recovery is – and it's not even taking into account all of the unemployed.
Friday, the Labor Department reported employers added 113,000 jobs last month. The unemployment rate ticked down to 6.6% from 6.7% in January, a rate not seen in five years.
But we know that number doesn't tell the full story…
The decline in the unemployment rate is due to an ongoing trend: discouraged workers exiting the labor force.
The actual unemployment rate, the U-6 rate, which includes "marginally attached workers plus total employed part time for economic reasons," remains at an unhealthy 12.7%.
And ShadowStats.com brings us an even more real look at the distorted U.S. jobs report.
As Money Morning Chief Investment Strategist Keith Fitz-Gerald pointed out last month, ShadowStats calculates the U.S. unemployment rate including the long-term discouraged workers. They stopped being counted in government numbers in 1994.
Their measure puts the U.S. unemployment rate at around 24%.
"The main message in this report is that the economy is not growing fast enough to create jobs. And, it reinforces the picture painted by the pretty mediocre GDP report released last week," Steven Pressman, Professor of Economics & Finance at Monmouth University in Long Branch, NJ, told Money Morning. "Unemployment fell over the past year, but mainly because the labor force fell by more than 200,000 workers from January 2013 to January 2014, instead of growing by around 1 million workers. This cannot and will not continue."
As of January, 7.8 million jobs have been recouped from the 8.7 million lost in the financial crisis – so we're still one million jobs short. And when accounting for population growth, economists say it will still take years to get back to a pre-recession jobs market.
Here are other notable changes in this month's dismal jobs report.