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Nearly 102 million working-age Americans jobless

Published time: May 05, 2014 13:10
A woman  stands in line with some of the 1,500 people seeking employment during a job fair at the Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater in Washington, DC (AFP Photo /  Chip Somodevilla)

A woman stands in line with some of the 1,500 people seeking employment during a job fair at the Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater in Washington, DC (AFP Photo / Chip Somodevilla)

Although the US unemployment rate has declined, more and more Americans are choosing to opt out of the labor market altogether and no longer even figure in the employment data.

Efforts by the Obama administration to dress up the employment picture are a bit like attempting to stuff a circus elephant into a ballerina costume. As Washington trumpets last month’s drop in the unemployment rate (6.3 percent), it has quietly moved more than 988,000 Americans into the “not participating in the labor force” column.

If you add the current number of Americans without a job (9.75 million) to the number of US citizens not in the labor force (92.02), you come up with 101.77 million working age Americans who do not have work, according to data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Now compare that figure to April 2000, when 5.48 million Americans were unemployed and 69.27 million Americans were not participating in the labor market. The number of Americans 14 years ago without work was 74.75 million. That means that the number of working age Americans without a job has risen by 27 million since the year 2000. However Washington wishes to fudge data that is bad news for the Obama administration.

In January 2005, the month that Barack Obama was sworn in as president, the United States was struggling with its worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. Just 60.6 percent of all working age Americans enjoyed employment of some kind.

Since just 58.9 percent of all working age Americans presently have employment, the US job picture remains in worse condition than it was when Barack Obama entered office.

Michael Snyder, who contributes to The Economic Collapse blog, suggested that the United States “just define every American that is not working as ‘not in the labor force’ and then we can have ‘0.0 percent unemployment.’”

“Then we can all have a giant party and celebrate how wonderful the US economy is.”

The unemployment data comes on the heels of another report, released last week, that 20 percent of all American families in 2013 do not have a single member that is working, according to BLS.

The BLS defines a family as “a group of two or more people who live together and who are related by birth, adoption or marriage.”

In 2013, of the estimated 80,445,000 families in the United States, in 20 percent – or 16,127,000— of them none of the members was employed.

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