Don’t tell us PeakNation™ over the Christmas holiday you missed this recent report from the Mercatus Center at George Mason University; no worries, that’s why you have us.

While people all around the country have been touting the ever-lowering unemployment rates in their states—and who wouldn’t?  People able to provide for their families is a great thing!—the Mercatus Center took a look behind those numbers; unfortunately, all is not as well as it seems. From the report:

“The most widely cited sign of progress toward a healthy economy has been the declining unemployment rate; however, the fall in the unemployment rate has largely been due to a shrinking labor-force participation rate rather than strong job growth.

…In the two most recent jobs reports, the labor-force participation rate has been at its lowest levels in nearly 35 years. Further, the entire drop in the unemployment rate in 2013 so far—from 7.8 percent in December 2012 to 7.0 percent last month—has been from the decline in the labor force rather than from job growth.” [the Peak emphasis]

That’s at the national level, but things don’t look much better if we focus just on Colorado.  In fact, compared to May of 2013 (the peak of jobs in Colorado last year), we have lost almost 20,000 jobs since then.  Yet, at the same time Colorado’s unemployment rate dropped from 6.9% to 6.5%.  No wonder China is beating us at math.

As the Mercatus Center pointed out, our drop can be almost completely accounted for by workers leaving the workforce.  It doesn’t matter to the unemployment rate when you lose 20,000 jobs if over 30,000 people drop out of the labor participation force.  The end result is the same.

Then again, when you pass fake “job bills”, perhaps you just end up with fake jobs.  Thanks Speaker Ferrandino!