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Truth Squad: GOP shines light on unemployment

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 2:04 AM EST, Wed January 25, 2012

Editor's note: Part of the CNN political fact-checking series

(CNN) -- Republicans focused on the Obama administration's job record during their rebuttal to Tuesday night's State of the Union address.

The statement: "The percentage of Americans with a job is at the lowest in decades."

-- Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, in the Republican rebuttal to President Barack Obama's State of the Union address.

The facts:

The civilian labor force participation rate was 63.8% in December, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The figure is based on the number of Americans over 16 working or looking for work.

The figure is the lowest since the 63.7% recorded in April 1984, when the United States was climbing out of another severe recession.

Labor force participation has ranged in the mid-60s in the intervening years, peaking at 67.9% in July 1992 and July 1996.

The verdict: True. Though hiring has slowly picked back up since the 2007-2009 recession, a large portion of the U.S. work force remains on the sidelines.

CNN's Matt Smith and Emily Smith contributed to this report.

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