Democrats are probably very happy with the August jobs report and the new unemployment rate of 5.1, but if you look closely at the issue, there’s no reason for turning cartwheels just yet.

Susan Jones of CNS News:

Record 94,031,000 Americans Not in Labor Force; Participation Rate Stuck at 38-Year Low for 3rd Straight Month

A record 94,031,000 Americans were not in the American labor force last month — 261,000 more than July — and the labor force participation rate stayed stuck at 62.6 percent, a 38-year low, for a third straight month in August, the Labor Department reported on Friday, as the nation heads into the Labor Day weekend.

The number of Americans not in the labor force has continued to rise, partly because of retiring baby-boomers and fewer workers entering the workforce.

In August, according to BLS, the nation’s civilian noninstitutional population, consisting of all people 16 or older who were not in the military or an institution, reached 251,096,000. Of those, 157,065,000 participated in the labor force by either holding a job or actively seeking one.

The 157,065,000 who participated in the labor force equaled only 62.6 percent of the 251,096,000 civilian noninstitutional population — the same as it was in July and June. Not since October 1977, when the participation rate dropped to 62.4, has the percentage been this low.

Stuart Varney of the FOX Business Network put it all in perspective yesterday. The low participation rate is what’s actually driving down the unemployment rate:

Zero Hedge has more (emphasis is theirs):

Record 94 Million Americans Not In The Labor Force; Participation Rate Lowest Since 1977

While the kneejerk headling scanning algos are focusing on the seasonally-adjusted headline monthly NFP increase which came in a worse than expected 173K, the presidential candidates – especially the GOP – are far more focused on another data point: the labor force participation rate, and the number of Americans not in the labor force.

Here, they will have some serious ammo, because according to the BLS, the main reason why the unemployment rate tumbled to the lowest since April 2008 is because another 261,000 Americans dropped out of the labor force, as a result pushing the total number of US potential workers who are not in the labor force, to a record 94 million, an increase of 1.8 million in the past year, and a whopping 14.9 million since the start of the second great depression in December 2007 while only 4 million new jobs have been created.

Hooray?

Featured image via FOX News video.