See, the BLS boys, no doubt at the president’s direction, are busy rewriting the rules, and they’re in uncharted, and unchecked, territory. The federal government Friday declared that the U.S. had created — not “saved,” mind you, “created” — 243,000 jobs. Amazing, right?

But wait, what’s that little asterisk here? A record 1.2 million Americans left the labor force? 1.2 million?! Well, where’d they go? Oh, just left? Well, OK. But no, wait. What does that even mean?’s Tyler Durden (the first rule of … eh, you know the rest) precisely spelled out the government version of “Project Mayhem”:

“A month ago, we joked when we said that for Obama to get the unemployment rate to negative by election time, all he has to do is to crush the labor force participation rate to about 55 percent. Looks like the good folks at the BLS heard us: It appears that the people not in the labor force exploded by an unprecedented record 1.2 million. No, that’s not a typo: 1.2 million people dropped out of the labor force in one month! So as the labor force increased from 153.9 million to 154.4 million, the non-institutional population increased to 242.3 million, meaning those not in the labor force surged from 86.7 million to 87.9 million. Which means that the civilian labor force tumbled to a fresh 30-year low of 63.7 percent as the BLS is seriously planning on eliminating nearly half of the available labor pool from the unemployment calculation.”

The labor force rate — all workers more than 16 years old — climbed above 66 percent in October 1988. It stayed there throughout the term of President George H.W. Bush, and topped 67 percent for 40 consecutive months during President Clinton’s two terms. The rate stayed above 66 percent for almost all of President George W. Bush’s two terms.

But the month Mr. Obama was elected, the rate dropped to 65.8 percent. By the end of his first year in office, the BLS said the labor participation rate was just 64.6 percent. And last month, for the first time in nearly 30 years, the rate dropped all the way down to 63.7 percent.

Still, month after month, the mainstream media laps up reports of a falling unemployment rate. “U.S. Jobless Rate Falls to 8.3 Percent, a 3-Year Low,” blared the New York Times. “The nation’s unemployment rate dropped for the fifth straight month, to 8.3 percent, its lowest level in three years, the Labor Department reported Friday, with widespread hiring across the economy,” declared the Washington Post.

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