The Number Of Working Age Americans Without A Job Has Risen By 27 Million Since 2000

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Michael Snyder of The Economic Collapse blog,

Did you know that there are nearly 102 million working age Americans that do not have a job right now?  And 20 percent of all families in the United States do not have a single member that is employed.  So how in the world can the government claim that the unemployment rate has "dropped" to "6.3 percent"?  Well, it all comes down to how you define who is "unemployed".  For example, last month the government moved another 988,000 Americans into the "not in the labor force" category.  According to the government, at this moment there are 9.75 million Americans that are "unemployed" and there are 92.02 million Americans that are "not in the labor force" for a grand total of 101.77 million working age Americans that do not have a job.  Back in April 2000, only 5.48 million Americans were unemployed and only 69.27 million Americans were "not in the labor force" for a grand total of 74.75 million Americans without a job.  That means that the number of working age Americans without a job has risen by 27 million since the year 2000.  Any way that you want to slice that, it is bad news.

Well, what about as a percentage of the population?

Has the percentage of working age Americans that have a job been increasing or decreasing?

As you can see from the chart posted below, the percentage of working age Americans with a job has been in a long-term downward trend.  As the year 2000 began, we were sitting at 64.6 percent.  By the time the great financial crisis of 2008 struck, we were hovering around 63 percent.  During the last recession, we fell dramatically to under 59 percent and we have stayed there ever since...

Employment Population Ratio April 2014

And the numbers behind this chart also show that employment in America did not increase last month.

In March, 58.9 percent of all working age Americans had a job.

In April, 58.9 percent of all working age Americans had a job.

Things are not getting worse (at least for the moment), but things are also definitely not getting better.

The month that Barack Obama entered the White House, we were in the midst of the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression and only 60.6 percent of all working age Americans had a job.

Since only 58.9 percent of all working age Americans have a job now, that means that the employment situation in America is still significantly worse than it was the day Barack Obama took office.

So don't let anyone fool you with talk of an "employment recovery".  It simply is not happening.  The official unemployment rate bears so little relation to economic reality at this point that it has essentially become meaningless.

Look, how in the world can we have an "unemployment rate" of just "6.3 percent" when 20 percent of all American families do n0t have a single member that is working?

Here is how that 20 percent figure was arrived at...

A family, as defined by the BLS, is a group of two or more people who live together and who are related by birth, adoption or marriage. In 2013, there were 80,445,000 families in the United States and in 16,127,000—or 20 percent–no one had a job.

So if one out of every five families is completely unemployed, then why is the official government unemployment rate not up at Great Depression era levels?

Could it be that the government is manipulating the numbers to make them look much better than they actually are?

Why don't they just go ahead and get it over with?  They can 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 U.S. economy is.

And don't be fooled by the "288,000 jobs" that were added to the U.S. economy last month.  For workers under the age of 55, the number of jobs actually dropped by a whopping 259,000.

If we were using honest numbers, the official unemployment rate would look a lot scarier.  John Williams of has calculated that the unemployment rate should be about 23 percent.  I don't think that is too far off.

Meanwhile, the quality of the jobs in our economy continues to go down.  The House Ways and Means Committee says that seven out of every eight jobs that have been "added" to the economy under Barack Obama have been part-time jobs.  But you can't raise a family or plan a career around a part-time job.  To be honest, it is very hard for a single person to even survive on a part-time wage in this economic environment.

As the quality of our jobs goes down, so do our incomes.  The median household income has declined for five years in a row, and the middle class is falling apart.

Without middle class incomes, you can't have a middle class.  Considering what we have been watching happen, it should be no surprise that the homeownership rate in the United States has dropped to the lowest level in 19 years or that the number of Americans receiving money from the government each month exceeds the number of full-time workers in the private sector by more than 60 million.

For many more statistics like this, please see my previous article entitled "17 Facts To Show To Anyone That Believes That The U.S. Economy Is Just Fine".

At a gut level, most Americans understand that things are much worse than they used to be.

The Pew Research Center recently asked people what "class" they consider themselves to be.  The results were shocking.

Back in 2008, only 25 percent of all Americans considered themselves to be "lower middle class" or "poor".

Earlier this year, an astounding 40 percent of all Americans chose one of those designations.

We are in the midst of a long-term economic decline, and no amount of propaganda is going to change that.

But based on the "happy numbers" being trumpeted by the mainstream media, the Federal Reserve is slowly bringing their quantitative easing program to an end.

When quantitative easing is finally totally cut off, we shall see how the financial markets and the U.S. economy perform without artificial life support.

Personally, I don't think that it is going to be pretty.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
FieldingMellish's picture

Progress, Hope and Change. Forward Comrades!

ndotken's picture

Pretty soon we'll have 0.00% unemployment and no one with an actual job. Moar upward!!!

wolfnipplechips's picture

"This situation is like a giant onion. The more layers you peel back, the more it stinks". [George Costanza]

Headbanger's picture

This is moar like the late Roman Empire when it grew way beyond its ability to keep it all together.

And we know what happened next and will soon see the start of another epoch of feudal Dark Ages.

Because people won't know what or who to believe in when the empire starts collapsing, they'll start believing in any stupid fucking thing that comes along promising to save them.

macholatte's picture


Because people won't know what or who to believe in when the empire starts collapsing,...


I'm already there and have been for quite awhile.

espirit's picture

My adult son just reminded me:

"Throw me to wolves, and I'll come back leading the pack."

Believe in yourself.

AsIseeIt's picture

I'm right there with you.  Trust in anything or anybody outside of my family and friends simply doesn't exist.

snodgrass's picture

I hear Harry Reid intends to turn Nevada into his own personal fiefdom called Reidville.

remain calm's picture

We are going down as a nation. When, How fast, and How bad? Nobody knows. For those of us working and living right it is very sad to watch. I hope good wins out over evil. Evil will be hard to defeat given they are in control.

CheapBastard's picture

Just dial 1-800-EBT-SNAP .... why work?

Infinite QE's picture

I'd rather pay benefits out to Americans instead of giving Russian Jews $35k/year to live in Israel on stolen land.

RumCurrency's picture

Not to worry.  It's just babyboomers retiring that happened to perfectly coincide with the economic collapse.  Pay no attention to those tent cities cropping up everywhere.

snodgrass's picture

That's okay. Soon they plan to cut everyone's food supply so all those unemployed won't have to worry about getting a job any more - they'll be dead.

LetThemEatRand's picture

"squeeze (my lemon) till the juice trickles down my leg."  Lloyd Zeppelin.

Caviar Emptor's picture

Trickle-Down is the way economics is supposed to work according to the Fed. Where's my trickle? Who's leg are we supposed to lick? We can only hope that those lemons will grow big

The Limerick King's picture



The number of jobless keeps growing

A fact that our rates are not showing

Their trickle-down farce

Is a dick in the arse

And Oligarch urine that's flowing

sessinpo's picture

Caviar Emptor        Trickle-Down is the way economics is supposed to work according to the Fed. Where's my trickle? Who's leg are we supposed to lick? We can only hope that those lemons will grow big


The FRB doesn't work (use) on trickle down and the current Fed government is socialist, so it certainly doesn't. 

williambanzai7's picture

"Tittytainment" for everyone!

LetThemEatRand's picture

Even the strippers are having a tough time in this economy.  I hear a lot of them have had to drop out of nursing school.

Sudden Debt's picture

And there's even strippers who are wearing magnetic tongs for those who want to slip them pennies instead of dollars...

Uber Vandal's picture

Actually, a number of hospitals have closed and/or cut staff.

If you know anyone in the medical profession, it is NOTHING like anyone may think it is, esp. the pay for those who are housekeeping, nurses aids, and even nurses pay could be better for what their responsibilities vs. what a doctor or ADMINISTRATOR gets paid.

I can't emphasize enough how much I despise administrators.

CheapBastard's picture
Vanderbilt lays off dozens more hospital employees ( news)

Posted: Oct 22, 2013 10:01 PM CST Updated: Nov 05, 2013 10:02 PM CDT


Vanderbilt has been cutting staff in recent months in order to cut costs, and hundreds of workers have already been laid off.


Sad stuff ... it's a fine institution. Part of the summer of recovery, 2013.

rbg81's picture

Forward! the Gubermint handout line:  disability, food stamps, Section 8 housing, Obamacare and Obamaphones for everyone.  As an added bonus, have some newly-legal marijuana to pass the time & dull the mind.  And, for shits & giggles, you can go to Walmart and snicker at those stupid enough to still be working for a living.

Urban Redneck's picture

Unless there is a government revenue stream associated with your SSN, you are only 3/5ths of a person for purposes of government counting. Rinse, Repeat. Politically correct lipstick on an ugly pig making an encore performance should NOT make that pig more attractive.

LetThemEatRand's picture

"Money it's a gas

Grab that cash with both hands and make a stash

New car, caviar, four star daydream,

Think I'll buy me a football team"

-Pink Lloyd

Colonel Walter E Kurtz's picture

The wagon is getting increasingly harder to pull every single day I work!

ebworthen's picture

"For example, last month the government moved another 988,000 Americans into the 'not in the labor force' category."

Raises hand.  They stopped counting me over a year ago. 

Cashing out retirement and assets, S.S. disability next.

I must be disabled if I can't even get an interview.

uno's picture

I cannot image over a year, what area of the country are you in.  My wife cuts hair and talks with so many middle aged men who lost their jobs/careers, went through 401's.  One ended up flipping homes after years out of work, and somehow made it, some others had to move in with their parents, some with their kids, others after divorce.  I cannot blame you for going the route, what are you options at a certain age.

pitz's picture

Its happened to the young as well.  Hoardes of college grads, submitting their resumes to firms, not even to receive the basic courtesy of a reply or human consideration.  A few can find 'survival'-type jobs such as bartending or pizza spinning, but there's an awful lot of unemployed basement dwellers these days.  The abuse of the H-1B visa has disproportionately hurt young people who ordinarily would be taking the jobs of the baby boomers once they retire. 

sessinpo's picture

ebworthen          I must be disabled if I can't even get an interview.


I see FEMA camp in your future or killed by neighborhood mobs

Caviar Emptor's picture

The headline unemployment rate fell to 6.3pc but that was only because the labour “participation rate” plummeted back to a modern-era low of 62.8pc, last seen in 1978 when there were far fewer women in the workforce.

The rate for males is the lowest ever recorded at 69.1pc.

arby63's picture

In 1978 my neighbor paid me $2 to mow her huge-ass lawn. I made enough to eventually buy a Suzuki RM100.


can't even find a kid to work now. 

Seasmoke's picture

Bushbama !!!! 

booboo's picture

Bushbamalinton, Hillwhorey is coming and hell is coming with her.

uno's picture

what is different is the acceptance by white america with living on the government handouts.  Of course DC and Wall Street is all about that, but now many of the former middle class white suburban america is ok with it.  What are the options when there are no quality jobs and the welfare cliff rewards dependency, throw in not paying the mortgage and living rent free for years.

I assume DC/wall street is obsessed with getting the pensions/401k's next, after that FEMA extended stay 'camps' etc...

adr's picture

I'm trying to figure out how 105 million working age Americans without a job are supposed to afford housing. Sure thw government can kick in subsidies, but for how much? Kicking in the difference between what people can afford and the average home costing more than $220k will do nothing for deficit reduction.

In Massachusetts they put an income cap of $55k a year for a family of three to qualify for an "affordable" $185k three bedroom home in a low income housing development. WTF! 

The property taxes for the home are $4500 a year. Where does a low income person get 20% down to get a loan for that house? You can't afford a $185k home on $55k a year in Massachusetts. Unless it is some no money down interest only loan. Guess that is what happens.

The economic situation in America is so fucked up it is almost unbelievable.

uno's picture

so many are just not paying the mortgage, otherwise section 8, some are people grouping together and pooling money

QQQBall's picture

Section-8 housing vouchers. I have seen people paying $15 a month and govt pays the rest... actually most times they and the landlord dont bother with the 15 bucks since Sec-8 routinely pays above-market rents.

socalbeach's picture

I can believe it.  I couldn't even get a job as a "dropper" (I just wanted to see what would happen). LOLOLOL


Subject: Re: New Dropper Request
From: TTMS_Recruiting

Good Day,

Thank you for your submission. Unfortunately, we do not have a vacancy  near your home address at this time. Should a vacancy open in your area, you will be contacted about the position before general recruiting begins.  

Please feel free to reply to this email if you wish to change the status of your request at a later date.

IBM Global Business Services

pitz's picture

IBM has been engaged at a war against US tech talent for at least the past decade.  No surprise that they have now set their sights on the lower brackets. 

GernB's picture

Hmm, does that mean people over 55 are used to taking crap jobs? Maybe if the government can ensure the only jobs left are crap jobs nobody wants then everyone can drop out of the labor force and we can have 0% unemployment.

The_Ungrateful_Yid's picture

Speaking of 55, my 55 year old neighbor is now working the drive through at nights at Dairy Queen...he has a degree in mechanical engineering and worked for shell oil for 25 years.  His wife watches oprah and all the useless talk shows all day plus his three kids are jobless. Aint life grand.

Infinite QE's picture

This is what happens when you let Bolsheviks run a country.

q99x2's picture

Right banksters are going to stop QE. They can't stop and whether you hear QE or not it will continue until millions are dead and the system is collapsed. They are banksters. That's what banksters do.

You have to hope Russia and China will get them under control and go after the big name financial terrorists because no one in the western armed services seems to care about their childrens future

Replace governments with open source software. Secession is an answer. Recall McCain, Schumer, Feinstein, Graham and Reid. Arrest Loyd Blankfein, Greenspan, Bernanke, Yellen, and fucking Jamie Dimon. And, above all don't forget to impeach Obama.

Boomberg's picture

Upvoted you but don't see how impeaching Obama helps. You would then have Biden. On the other hand, impeachment would give Congress something to do for the next 2 years. 

davidalan1's picture

Seems the green shoots need some fertilizing..

"they no nothing, NOTHING" - some guy

NickVegas's picture

You ask why we rob the American middle class? That's where the money is. Huge swaths of industry offshored, and insult upon injury, huge swaths of foreign labor imported into the US. That is the plan, to impoverish America, and cut it off at it's knees.

Debt and death, slave planet baby.

CrazyCatLady's picture

Im sure all the scripts of anti depressants has helped this out dramatically.  Apparently they hand them out when you turn 40.  

The_Ungrateful_Yid's picture

20 is the new 40 now. Foward comrades.