1 out of 3 American workers support the rest of the country: Those not in the labor force surges to another record at 93,770,000.

The latest employment figures did not help the market.  While the unemployment rate remained unchanged this is largely being driven by the massive number of Americans not in the labor force.  This is the biggest employment story going on for a couple of years but is completely ignored by the media.  It is also conveniently ignored by the unemployment rate that only measures those “in the labor force” which is a very generous range.  A large part of the not in the labor force group has come from people simply being unable to find work in this low wage economy.  And then the media acts shocked that people like Trump and Bernie Sanders are gaining traction.  The media would like to continue to paint a Pollyanna case of the economy but that is just not the truth.  We recently hit a record 93,770,000 Americans that are no longer in the labor force.  1 out of 3 Americans are not in the labor force while 1 out of 3 workers are supporting the rest of the country.

Not in the labor force growth

Those not in the labor force has grown by a stunning 11 million in the last five years alone.  Isn’t this a recovery?  Are we not in the middle of incredible growth and expansion?  It really depends on how you define it.  The stock market is being juiced by easy monetary policy that is benefitting a small number of Americans while technology stocks go up because of delusional venture capital money.  It is all over hyped and the spin machinery is getting overheated.

Just look at the growth of those not in the labor force:

not in labor force

“The chart above is only looking at the last five years.  We have added 11 million people to this category (a growth rate of 13.4%).  In contrast the US population has grown from 309 million to 321 million (a growth rate of 3.8%).”

So somehow those not in the labor force is growing at a rate 3.5 times faster than population growth.  You can see why there is something else going on here.

One part is the millions in college going into massive amounts of debt.  There is a large part of Americans in college but how many will come out to good paying jobs reflecting the debt they are taking on?  Many do make it but given the delinquency rates in student debt, many have a college degree and are essentially thrown into the low wage segment of the economy.  Simply having an educated population isn’t sufficient for good job growth.  Look at Spain and Greece with their massive youth unemployment.

The unemployment rate also looks low because of eliminating a lot of people that should be counted:


How many of those not in the labor force have given up looking for work?  How many are camping out in college?  You also have many older Americans being unable to compete in the labor force and now are simply relying on their tiny Social Security payments to survive and avoid being in poverty.  People find it hard to believe but half of Social Security recipients would be out in the street and homeless if it were not for the monthly payment they receive.

There is definitely something fishy going on with the growth in this category of employment.  How is it feasible to be growing at a rate 3.5 times that of the population?  In the end, the spin machinery will continue to go on trying to juice the stock markets higher despite none of the gains flowing down to your working class American.

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4 Comments on this post


  1. Taxed said:

    Labor participation rate is 63% while 37% of those employed are employed at taxpayer funded jobs.

    August 8th, 2015 at 11:29 am
  2. welfare armageddon said:

    wth are all these folks doin,sittin at home all day watchin the price is right?no wonder everybody so gd fat,everybody sittin on their fat asss.m2 gonna have to print it’s way to hell to keep the scheme goin

    August 9th, 2015 at 11:44 am
  3. Rachel said:

    A lot of people are literally living off of other people, are being enabled by other people. Jobs are hard to find but there are 30, 40, 50, year old adult children living with their parents, grandparents or other relatives. Also, the vast majority of people rely solely on Social Security or disability payments and they ARE in poverty. These payments are not keeping them out of poverty.

    August 11th, 2015 at 6:32 pm
  4. Uncle Jimmy said:

    We are in deep do do.

    August 12th, 2015 at 10:10 pm


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