How bad was the December jobs report? Well, for starters, more people attended a single professional sporting event than got a job.
A crowd of 105,000 people watched the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Detroit Red Wings on New Year's Day during the NHL's annual Winter Classic, but today's jobs report shows that only 74,000 new jobs were added in December 2013.
The NHL Winter Classic is an outdoor game played on New Year's Day, and this year's game pitted two traditional rivals against each other at the University of Michigan's football stadium. More than 105,000 people showed up in a blinding snowstorm to watch the game.
Economists had predicted that nearly 200,000 jobs would be added in December, but their predictions were off by quite a bit. The workplace participation rate is the smallest it has been since the Carter administration.
The jobs that were added came largely from retail and wholesale trade which gained 55,000 and 15,000 jobs respectively. In retail, food stores and clothing stores added 12,000 each, general merchandisers added 8,000 and car dealers added 7,000. The holiday season hiring beat the retail 2013 average by 23,000. Business services, manufacturing and mining also added jobs.
When hockey game attendance is outnumbering added jobs, there's a serious problem in the United States.