"The jobless rate fell to 6.7% from 7% for the month, the Labor Department said, though the decline mostly reflects job seekers giving up their search and leaving the workforce.

The downbeat readings were partly attributed to distortions caused by bad weather, and many economists warned that the report may prove to be a fluke. Employers, too, are reporting a mixed take on the economy and their labor needs."

Summing Up

A nation's economic growth and prosperity are primarily attributable to three basics: (1) how many of its people are working (see chart above); (2) how many hours those people are working; and (3) the productivity of those people while they are working (more output for the same input or the same output for less input).

It's really that simple.

Baby Boomer retirements (forced and unforced), long term discouraged would-be workers dropping out of the work force, entitlements making work somewhat less attractive, technological advancements making us all more productive and global competition are all important pieces of the labor force participation mix and unemployment issues today.

We just don't know which portion of the problem to assign to which individual factor, so we'll stay tuned and see how 2014 unfolds.

In the meantime, keep the faith, my fellow Americans. I'll do the same.

Thanks. Bob.