The August payrolls figure came in far behind expectations, as the Labor Department reported Friday. That's a discouraging downturn, but FiveThirtyEight's Ben Casselman points to an upsetting longer-term trend.
For the 49th time in the past 50 months, more unemployed workers dropped out of the labor force than found jobs. pic.twitter.com/gV2OD8XkVj— Ben Casselman (@bencasselman) September 5, 2014
Keep in mind that this isn't just people who are quitting the labor force because they had jobs and decided to retire; this is people who left the labor force after already being jobless. Reversing this trend would be a clear sign that the job market is on the mend.