Record Shattering 94.7 Million Americans Not in the Labor Force. Up by 664,000 in One Month.

he employment figures have turned into one giant inside joke.  The mainstream press living in perpetual bubbles thinks that most of the American public is following one giant conspiracy theory if they don’t simply accept that everything is fantastic in the economy.  The funny thing is that the same reporting agency that gives us a low unemployment rate also shows us that a record 94.7 million Americans are not in the labor force.  These are Americans that can work but are simply out of the labor force (we are not counting children here).  Wall Street and D.C. thinking is that most of this number is made up of “old people” retiring and playing golf in Hawaii with bucket loads of cash.  First of all, most retirees are one missed Social Security check from eating cat food from the dollar store.  The narrative has fully broken down and that is why we are having such an angry election year.  You don’t need to tell Americans that the economy is bad because they are living it.  Last month alone those not in the labor force jumped by 664,000.  I guarantee you that most of that number is not coming from people entering retirement.

The shadow employment figures

We’ve made the case before that 1 out of 3 Americans is supporting the rest of the country financially.  The balance is only getting more tilted thanks to many young Americans struggling to find jobs in the low wage economy.

We now have a record number of Americans not in the labor force:

not in the labor force


The numbers get funky here because of how they look at retirement.  We have clear evidence that many are not retiring into the sunset:

“(CNBC) On one hand, there’s plenty of evidence that financial pressures on retirees are growing. The Willis report suggests that more than one in five men age 65 and older are still working today, for example.

“Research suggests average retirement ages are moving in an upward direction,” said Steve Nyce, a senior economist at Willis Towers Watson. “How steep that will be depends on policy changes regarding Social Security as well as other factors like global growth.”

In other words, people are too broke to retire.  And many others are retiring to a life of cereal and coffee.  This is the group that the media is telling the public “not to worry about” because out of those 94.7 million not in the labor force, most are enjoying a wonderful retirement in their made up world.  Clearly that is not the case.

You have to wonder what this means for the country.  Survey after survey finds that most Americans are dissatisfied with the economy.  The stock market is near a record but half of the country doesn’t own one stock.  Housing prices are up but the homeownership rate is near a generational low.  The housing issue is largely due to banks and investors buying up properties during the crisis (brought on by banks and Wall Street in the first place).

We now have another record for those not in the labor force.  Let the spin begin.

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2 Comments on this post


  1. Ash said:

    We may be undergoing a change that is in contrast to industrialization. In this case the new jobs will be even slower to arrive or may not arrive at all if technology continues to obsolete workers at the pace that it has.

    Something intriguing I saw this morning was American household wealth is at records levels, something like 82 trillion, unfortunately I’d bet it’s all locked up in people’s house values and a majority of it is probably held by the top 20% of wage earners.

    World without work for 50-75% might be closer than we think.
    Here’s an interesting perspective from The Atlantic:

    June 10th, 2016 at 9:37 am
  2. Edward said:

    “The mark of your ignorance is the depth of your belief in injustice and tragedy. What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the Master calls the butterfly.”

    More will be revealed.

    June 19th, 2016 at 10:34 pm


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