94,609,000 adult Americans not in the labor force: In January 2009, 80,529,000 were not in the labor force. Now we’ve added 14 million Americans.

There is truly a silent majority in the United States and those are people that are not in the labor force.  It is hard to believe but since January of 2009 we have added a whopping 14 million Americans to the already staggering number of adult Americans that are not in the labor force.  Many older Americans are fully reliant on Social Security and are one missed direct deposit from being out on the streets and starving.  Adults not in the labor force are largely ignored because they have weak purchasing power.  Who is going to advertise to them?  Yet this massive group makes up nearly one-third of the entire population.  Are we heading to 100,000,000 adult Americans that will no longer be in the labor force?

The not working silent majority

The number of adult Americans not in the labor force has ballooned to ridiculous proportions.  This has far outpaced any standard retirement projections.  Back in 2006, we had 77,339,000 people that were not in the labor force.  Today it is up to 94,609,000 (a stunning increase of 17,270,000 in just ten years).

Take a look at the figures:

not-in-labor-force

Source:  BLS

If you take this back 20 years, you can see that the trend started accelerating in the late 1990s:

not-in-labor-force-chart

The workforce getting older has been a big part of this but we have gone through the following:

-The 1990s tech boom and bust

-The early 2000s recession and 9/11

-The Great Recession that hit from 2007 to 2009

Normally you would expect a standard recession but that is the thing with economies, they are simply hard to predict.  The Great Recession was the worst recession since the Great Depression. We have gone into uncharted territories of debt to keep on moving forward.  It is still to be determined whether this move was an exercise in kicking the can down the road.

So let us say that most of the growth of those not in the labor force are older Americans.  If that is the case, then we still have much to worry about because the cost of health care is ballooning and these expenses tend to pickup into old age.  We move from an era of working productivity to one of dependence on family or the state.  And given the smaller number of younger Americans and weaker wages, it is not entirely certain that younger Americans can support the army of older Americans not working.

Yet in that large not in the labor force category, we also have working age Americans that have simply dropped out of the labor force.  We also have many Americans going into massive levels of student debt with degrees that are uncertain to yield a return on their investment.

More than 20 million Americans are currently enrolled in colleges or universities:

u-s-college-enrollment

Overall, we have a large number of adult Americans not working yet financial commitments on the nation are growing.  It is not by accident that this important topic was fully ignored during the political season.  Those not in the labor force are the silent majority after all.

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3 Comments on this post

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  1. James Grierson said:

    When I see the stats on how many Americans are out of work I know it not to be true simply because hundreds of thousands of people work under the table this would include convicted felons who can’t get regular jobs due to being felons and the rest are those who walk to the beat of their own drum like eBayers, criags-listers, Yard-sellers, landscapers, drug dealers and self employed contractors who in which none of them pay taxes and let us not forget those people standing on the side of the road perpetrating as being homeless that rake in thousands of dollars every year and if you follow some of them at the end of the day you’ll find them jumping into a new car parked a few blocks away from where they beg for dollars & change and go to a nice comfortable home they own.

    November 14th, 2016 at 12:03 pm
  2. The trueth said:

    I keep wondering when the revolution will start. All our factory jobs are in china and mexico.

    It makes me guilty everytime i go to walmart.

    My favorite way to protest is to to buy. Live frugally. Not saying to live off the grid.

    Just dont buy things you cant carry with you to the homeless shelter.

    The american economic system is broke because people like obama have sold out to the global elites.

    Obama is a slave to soros

    December 25th, 2016 at 4:26 pm
  3. The trueth said:

    Of course 97 million americans dont have jobs. obama and clinton sent them all to china

    December 25th, 2016 at 4:29 pm

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