US weather sees jobs additions fall to 2011 low

A nasty number for the US economy.

Nonfarm payrolls have come in at just 74,000 for December, far lower than the 196,000 job additions analysts had expected.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics said that weather had been a major factor in the low payrolls number.

Those unable to work because of the bad conditions stood at 237,000 during December. That's well above the 138,000 average of those affected by weather in December months.

But also a nice one.

Unemployment has fallen from seven per cent to 6.7 per cent, its lowest since October 2008, while economists had forecast that the number would stay flat.

Sadly that drop is the result of a falling labour participation rate, now down to a 1978 low of 62.8 per cent. The unemployed are increasingly giving up on finding work.