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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.


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Sun, 05/04/2014 - 12:49 | 4726009 FieldingMellish
FieldingMellish's picture

Progress, Hope and Change. Forward Comrades!

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 12:59 | 4726033 ndotken
ndotken's picture

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

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 13:00 | 4726040 FieldingMellish
FieldingMellish's picture

How liberating!

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 13:13 | 4726078 wolfnipplechips
wolfnipplechips's picture

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

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 13:26 | 4726104 Headbanger
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.

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 16:09 | 4726449 macholatte
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.

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 19:37 | 4726907 espirit
espirit's picture

My adult son just reminded me:

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

Believe in yourself.

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 11:26 | 4728456 AsIseeIt
AsIseeIt's picture

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

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 07:51 | 4727763 snodgrass
snodgrass's picture

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

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 13:34 | 4726119 remain calm
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.

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 13:55 | 4726173 CheapBastard
CheapBastard's picture

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

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 17:53 | 4726666 Infinite QE
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.

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 15:03 | 4726307 RumCurrency
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.

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 23:11 | 4726061 snodgrass
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.

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 12:50 | 4726011 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

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

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 12:58 | 4726036 Caviar Emptor
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

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 13:24 | 4726100 The Limerick King
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

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 18:06 | 4726703 sessinpo
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. 

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 12:50 | 4726012 williambanzai7
williambanzai7's picture

"Tittytainment" for everyone!

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 12:55 | 4726026 LetThemEatRand
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.

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 13:15 | 4726082 Sudden Debt
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...

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 13:39 | 4726136 Uber Vandal
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.

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 13:59 | 4726183 CheapBastard
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.

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 13:10 | 4726056 rbg81
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.

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 12:50 | 4726015 Urban Redneck
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.

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 12:52 | 4726021 LetThemEatRand
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

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 12:55 | 4726025 Colonel Walter ...
Colonel Walter E Kurtz's picture

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

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 12:58 | 4726035 ebworthen
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.

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 13:14 | 4726081 uno
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.

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 20:50 | 4727068 pitz
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. 

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 18:09 | 4726714 sessinpo
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

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 13:07 | 4726049 Caviar Emptor
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.

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 13:52 | 4726166 arby63
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. 

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 13:02 | 4726053 Seasmoke
Seasmoke's picture

Bushbama !!!! 

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 13:36 | 4726129 booboo
booboo's picture

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

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 13:04 | 4726060 uno
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...

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 13:16 | 4726085 adr
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.

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 13:56 | 4726175 uno
uno's picture

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

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 14:49 | 4726271 QQQBall
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.

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 13:23 | 4726089 socalbeach
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

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 15:39 | 4726381 pitz
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. 

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 13:22 | 4726093 GernB
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.

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 17:47 | 4726648 The_Ungrateful_Yid
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.

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 17:49 | 4726652 Infinite QE
Infinite QE's picture

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

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 13:25 | 4726094 q99x2
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.

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 14:25 | 4726227 Boomberg
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. 

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 13:22 | 4726095 davidalan1
davidalan1's picture

Seems the green shoots need some fertilizing..

"they no nothing, NOTHING" - some guy

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 14:43 | 4726121 NickVegas
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.

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 13:44 | 4726149 CrazyCatLady
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.  

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 17:48 | 4726651 The_Ungrateful_Yid
The_Ungrateful_Yid's picture

20 is the new 40 now. Foward comrades.

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 13:45 | 4726150 Milestones
Milestones's picture

Well, lets add a little excitment here. Don't usually use BOLD type, but I just had a call from a comprate in BLANDING, Utah where apparantly another Mesquite, Nevada is taking place as I write. Blanding is a hole in the wall town just south of Montecillo and just over the western edge of Colorado. Mostly an "Indian town" as the Navaho Reservation begins where the 4 coners of Ariz.,-N.M. Colo. & Utah come together. 

Seeing as how I threw out my T.V. a year ago I have heard nothing. Has anyone heard anything? I believe some of the militia that was at Bundy's Ranch are there now; and are calling for some help.

Any news would be appriciated.                     Milestones

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 14:52 | 4726277 QQQBall
QQQBall's picture

Another Mesquite? don't understand - the reason for living in Mesquite is no NV State tax. Why would I bother with Blanding? St George is the retirement area for that part of Utah.

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 18:56 | 4726827 Milestones
Milestones's picture

Dizzy Fingers. Thanks for the heads up on the article--was appriciated! My concern was that I got a phone call this am from someone there. He was saying that they needed some other militia people there. don't have any idea of what is going on--no one wants to talk because of wire tapping.

If some one would have said what we are witness to 10 years ago i would have laughed. We are watching an entire powerful country being brought down by a tribe of historical scum, and the goyems sit and watch in total apathy. We are truly a bunch of sad sacks.


Sun, 05/04/2014 - 14:04 | 4726192 moneybots
moneybots's picture

Is it working age Americans, or Americans?  102 million would seem to be something under 1/3 of the U.S. population.  Children would not be working and elderly would not be working or at least considered to not be working age, so i would think that the working age population would be under 300 million, or maybe a little over.

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 14:34 | 4726237 Gold N Glocks
Gold N Glocks's picture


Sun, 05/04/2014 - 14:52 | 4726278 pitz
pitz's picture

Nothing will meaningfully change until the H-1B visa program is cancelled, and the current H-1B holders deported.  Put 1 million high-income US scientists back to work, and the demand created, as well as the application of superior talent and ingenuity, should take care of much of the remaining problem.

We're now a decade into an environment where even the top grads from various STEM programs can submit their applications to the various employers, not even to receive the very basic courtesy of a response.  Employers are hooked on cheap labour, and even honest ones have to use cheap (not high quality) labour simply to remain "competitive". 

Fri, 05/09/2014 - 01:59 | 4742544 MeelionDollerBogus
MeelionDollerBogus's picture

silly 'americans' wanting 'american' quality 'of' labors.

blobbing 'up' the language 'barriers' for 'immigrants' would easily be re-making the spanglish-'americanism' citizen proficiently apt working for any 'employer' to most blobbing up 'quality' as 'citizens' 'just' like american-chindians.


Sun, 05/04/2014 - 15:07 | 4726314 royalty
royalty's picture

 I thought they were on extended vacations compliments of the USG.

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 15:10 | 4726331 Whatta
Whatta's picture
The Number Of Working Age Americans Without A Job Has Risen By 27 Million Since 2000

Lets see, what's that remind me of. Oh yeah - GREECE!!!

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 15:21 | 4726351 Goldilocks
Goldilocks's picture

Los del Rio - Macarena (Original Video) [HD] (3:41)

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 15:31 | 4726369 Rising Sun
Rising Sun's picture

Send me MOAR FUCKING FEWD STAMPS Barry - you nazi pig!!!!!!!!!!!!


How did this foul pig Barry get a second term??????????????

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 15:42 | 4726388 dizzyfingers
dizzyfingers's picture

The majority (the 99%) voted for him!

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 17:44 | 4726644 pitz
pitz's picture

What exactly is the role/purpose of an 'attack submarine' anyways?  I can see the role of a SLBM submarine in nuclear deterrance, but an attack sub? 

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 19:00 | 4726837 StychoKiller
StychoKiller's picture

Attack sub are supposed to find, keep track of, and perhaps destroy opposing SLBM subs.

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 16:15 | 4726462 Yes_Questions
Yes_Questions's picture



Something's got to give...


The money masters are fostering a permanent crisis mode for everyone not in the Big Club and we know there is a better way.  


In the U.S., its way past time the "Middle Class" grow up, finally and take responsibility to thrive.  Its time to drop the fantasy that success is measured by good credit, a big paycheck and accumulated stuff. Success is an illusion the money masters use to get the serfs running on their hamster wheels.  


Chasing money is no way to thrive, folks.  Many of you already understand this.  Its why your on this site.  


But look at how MSM has made Prepping something paranoid people do.  Horseshit, its what responsible people do.  If you live in Hurricane Country, you know what I mean.  When (not if) a unified mass of people who've decided to thrive reach a state sufficient to overcome labels, tear gas and batons, a new golden age of prosperity might be within reach.  


I'm Utopian that way.  












Sun, 05/04/2014 - 17:22 | 4726610 Miffed Microbio...
Miffed Microbiologist's picture

So true ;-)

What amazes me is the fact the rest of us who are employed must shoulder the burden of more and more workload because management is loathe to hire more people. I myself have been given an ultimatum. My manager has been forced to take another position and I and the other senior microbiologist must divide up her work between us. No extra time will be allowed to do these added responsibilities nor will any extra pay be granted. In fact, if I refuse, I have been informed my pay will be docked 8%.

My first loyalty will always be to patients so I will have to let managerial duties slip their deadlines. I know this will cause me a lot of problems in the future. I am being set up and am planning my response. Management knows there are no positions available for me to flee so they see a golden opportunity. I am assuming this is happening in other industries as well. Truly dark time for all of us.


Sun, 05/04/2014 - 17:33 | 4726624 FredFlintstone
FredFlintstone's picture

I would think a microbiologist would never need to interact with a patient.

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 18:24 | 4726758 Miffed Microbio...
Miffed Microbiologist's picture

Yes, I rarely meet one but I know them well through my work.

The man with 2 little kids battling leukemia that is septic with MRSA. The young man who had an industrial injury causing the loss of his eye. The resulting infection with Mycobacterium fortuitum almost killed him. His Dr credited my quick identification with saving his life though he will never know this. The homeless man found nearly dead from TB on the streets ( yes we are becoming as a 3rd world nation now, this is becoming common). The preemie born to a drug addict mom who is dying of group B strep.... The list goes on.

Just because I don't personally see them doesn't mean I don't feel a connection. This is why I became a microbiologist. I needed some distance because I am sensitive to the suffering of others and could not work effectively if too close. I admire nurses and Drs that can do this.


Sun, 05/04/2014 - 19:00 | 4726839 FredFlintstone
FredFlintstone's picture

Wow, I had no idea. Thanks for the insight.

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 19:16 | 4726858 Miffed Microbio...
Miffed Microbiologist's picture

May you stay well and hope we never meet. Professionally that is. ;-)


Sun, 05/04/2014 - 20:00 | 4726960 espirit
espirit's picture

Hang on as long as you can MM, but prepare your exit.  I did this in 2008 and thrived although many did not.  We have 35% underwater mortgages and are 3rd in the nation for it.  We paid off a 30yr note in 8 years, mortgage free since '99.

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 18:20 | 4726746 Yes_Questions
Yes_Questions's picture



Tough spot.  I hope you prevail and intact.  


You seem to have an understanding where the employer side of this ultimatum is coming from, but knowledge is power and in your negotiation may you have the strength of helpful facts on your side.


Sun, 05/04/2014 - 19:08 | 4726845 Miffed Microbio...
Miffed Microbiologist's picture

I envy my parents generation whose employment was 9-5 with bowling league on Thursday nights. They had no worries of layoffs, being prepared for eventual outsourcing or obtaining more education due to demands of their profession. Employment today must have constant vigilance. It's a constant game of chess. I am senior so my pay is high. Because there is a critical shortage of microbiologists I am temporarily safe but they are actively training students so this won't last long. I believe this move is to push the close to retirement age people to consider leaving. This is not nor ever will be an option for me. Sometimes the stress is very oppressive and I know I'm not alone. We are not always in control of our destinies but it can be hard not to give up the pretense we are.

Peace and I hope you do not face the same.


Sun, 05/04/2014 - 19:27 | 4726879 pitz
pitz's picture

"critical shortage of microbiologists"???  Really?  I hear there's so many microbiology grads out there that many are forced to retrain as nurses or pharmacists simply to find jobs.

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 20:29 | 4727027 Miffed Microbio...
Miffed Microbiologist's picture

In San Diego there is a shortage of clinical microbiologists especially ones that can do molecular diagnostics as I do. This may be different in other parts of the country.


Sun, 05/04/2014 - 19:28 | 4726882 FredFlintstone
FredFlintstone's picture

I am an engineer where experience is important so I feel that I get better with age. I would think that how you described your job and how you saved someone's life by quickly identifying an agent would make experience very valuable in your profession. My line of work like yours probably requires a good mix of experience where you would have entry level staff doing the routine work at a competitive cost and someone like yourself would supervise them, check their work as well as take on the harder cases.

If we have inexperienced staff take on too much and make mistakes no one dies. It is frightening to think that a healthcare system might risk lives by substituting experience for inexperience.

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 20:59 | 4727096 Miffed Microbio...
Miffed Microbiologist's picture

You describe this well and your fears are warranted. People don't realize that Drs are helpless without the aid of a microbiologist when they are faced with a critically ill patient infected with an unusual agent. They will end up just guessing what to do ( not that they would admit this to a patient!)

I had a college student with a bad infection in his neck moving rapidly towards his spinal chord. I called the dr and gave him my opinion what it was. He called me back the next day and claimed I had to be wrong. He was convinced it was M. scrofulaceum. I knew it couldn't be but he was adamant he had researched it thoroughly on the internet. Panicking he was going to kill his patient, I begged him to get an infectious disease consult. My way professionally to say to a Dr " you are a fucking idiot and woefully out of your league". He told me he had things under control. Well, I knew I couldn't sleep with this so I called an ID doc myself and told him what had transpired. He set the guy straight. A week later the doc called me and thanked me for saving his butt, I was right. No, the patient did not know any of this. Ignorance was bliss for him.

Fred, both of us know the value of experience. You must engineer properly or something may be built improperly and be structurally unsound or dangerous. Yes, we will be asked more and more to be consultants and less hands on. I have no issue with this but what I am seeing in the new students is a lot of rushing and sloppiness. Part of this is demands from above to increase throughput. But, I have noted a general difference in the caliber of these people. Many are foreign born and have little training from their original countries. Most now do it for a pay check rather than a love of the field. I look at them and realize these will be my caretakers in 20 years. None of the students I am training would have done what I did for my patient. In their culture that would have been considered inappropriate to argue with a Dr. I don't feel a need to respect authority when authority is wrong.


Mon, 05/05/2014 - 15:21 | 4729298 Meatier Shower
Meatier Shower's picture

Many believe that authority is truth and not that truth is authority.

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 19:38 | 4726908 Yes_Questions
Yes_Questions's picture



To you as well.

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 18:43 | 4726803 yogibear
yogibear's picture

The Great Society dream of Lyndon Johnson and Jesse Jackson. Just collect a check.

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 22:08 | 4727208 papaswamp
papaswamp's picture

Yea those numbers are off a bit.
~ 196 million between 18-64.
Let's throw out the 16-19 yr olds (~19 million of which 13 million are not working). Throwing this group out helps eliminate stay at home parents and disabled from the rest of the group.
-20-24 yr olds 21.8 million of which 6.5 million aren't working. (~30% unemployment).
-25-54 yr olds 124 million of which 24.8 million aren't working (~20% unemployment).
-55yr+ 78 million of which 46 million aren't working. Interestingly, the 65+ yr old group has seen and increase in participation rate (21.5% to 24%) since 2008, but there has been a dramatic decline in participation rate for the 55 to 64 age group in the last few reports. Not sure why.

The above is computed by using 2012 census estimates but 2014 participation rate. Since the participation rate has continued to degrade the situation is probably a bit worse totals wise. The most concerning is the meat of the workforce, the 25-54 yr olds. In 2000 there were ~122 mil with 18.3 million not working. THUS today with only 2 million more 25-54 yr olds those not working have increased by 6 million instead of only 2 million... Meaning the employment situation has degraded by a factor of 3.

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