Friday, December 2, 2011 – 10:45 a.m.

Friday the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released an unemployment (U-3) rate of 8.6%.

A decrease from 9.0% in October.

A nice drop, if not for one glaring issue.

The BLS reported the U.S. economy added 120,000 jobs in November. But mixed into the data was the fact that 315,000 people were reflected as quitting the labor force.

In other words, the BLS added increased the number of employed workers and decreased the size of the U.S. workforce.

Meaning the rate really should have increased from October.

The underemployment (U-6) rate, which takes into account the 315,000 number, is dismal at 16.5%.

With first-time claims for unemployment benefits topping 400,000 yesterday, even Wall Street isn’t buying the facade.

In other words, nothings changed except the gimmickry.