Only 44% Of U.S. Adults Are Employed For 30-Or-More Hours Per Week

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Michael Snyder via The Economic Collapse blog,

Jim Clifton, the Chairman and CEO of Gallup, says that the percentage of Americans that are employed full-time has been hovering near record lows since the end of the last recession.  But most Americans don’t realize this because the official unemployment numbers are extremely misleading.  In fact, Clifton says that the official 5.6 percent unemployment rate is a “big lie”.  Gallup regularly tracks the percentage of U.S. adults that are employed for 30 or more hours per week, and it is currently at 44.2 percent.  It has been hovering between 42 percent and 45 percent since the end of 2009.  This is extremely low.  As I discussed the other day, there are 8.69 million Americans that are considered to be “officially unemployed” at this point.  But there are another 92.90 million Americans that are considered to be “not in the labor force”.  Millions upon millions of those Americans would work if they could.  Overall, there are 101 million U.S. adults that do not have a job right now.  But you won’t hear that number being discussed by the mainstream media, because it would make Barack Obama look really bad.

Most Americans just assume that the economic numbers that we are being given accurately reflect reality.  That is why it is so refreshing to have men like Jim Clifton step forward and tell the truth.  His recent article entitled “The Big Lie: 5.6% Unemployment” is making headlines all over America.  The following is an extended excerpt from that article…

There’s another reason why the official rate is misleading. Say you’re an out-of-work engineer or healthcare worker or construction worker or retail manager: If you perform a minimum of one hour of work in a week and are paid at least $20 — maybe someone pays you to mow their lawn — you’re not officially counted as unemployed in the much-reported 5.6%. Few Americans know this.


Yet another figure of importance that doesn’t get much press: those working part time but wanting full-time work. If you have a degree in chemistry or math and are working 10 hours part time because it is all you can find — in other words, you are severely underemployed — the government doesn’t count you in the 5.6%. Few Americans know this.


There’s no other way to say this. The official unemployment rate, which cruelly overlooks the suffering of the long-term and often permanently unemployed as well as the depressingly underemployed, amounts to a Big Lie.


And it’s a lie that has consequences, because the great American dream is to have a good job, and in recent years, America has failed to deliver that dream more than it has at any time in recent memory. A good job is an individual’s primary identity, their very self-worth, their dignity — it establishes the relationship they have with their friends, community and country. When we fail to deliver a good job that fits a citizen’s talents, training and experience, we are failing the great American dream.


Gallup defines a good job as 30+ hours per week for an organization that provides a regular paycheck. Right now, the U.S. is delivering at a staggeringly low rate of 44%, which is the number of full-time jobs as a percent of the adult population, 18 years and older.

And Gallup is being extremely generous.

I certainly would not define a 30 hour a week job at minimum wage as a “good job”, but Gallup does.

So the truth is that the percentage of U.S. adults that do have “good jobs” is actually far lower than 44 percent.

In the video that I have posted below, there is much more from Clifton about our current employment crisis…

Pretty strong stuff.

But Clifton also understands that there is danger in speaking out like this.

For example, just check out what he told CNBC during one recent interview…

“I think that the number that comes out of BLS [Bureau of Labor Statistics] and the Department of Labor is very, very accurate. I need to make that very, very clear so that I don’t suddenly disappear. I need to make it home tonight.”

So why are there so few good jobs for Americans?

Well, for one thing, our control freak politicians have absolutely murdered job creation in the United States.

Traditionally, small businesses have been the primary engine of job growth for the U.S. economy.  But for each of the past six years, the number of new businesses being created has been lower than the number of businesses that have died.

Prior to 2008, we had never seen this happen before in all of U.S. history.

Thanks Obama.

Meanwhile, we continue to ship millions of good jobs out of the country, and millions of good jobs are being replaced by technology.

A confluence of factors are coming together to create a perfect storm that is going to be extremely bitter for American workers.

Spending our wealth is not a path to prosperity.  We have got to create wealth in order to be a prosperous nation.

But instead, we continue to buy far, far more from the rest of the world than they buy from us.  We just learned that the trade deficit increased to 46.6 billion dollars in December, and the total trade deficit for the year was more than half a trillion dollars.

This is complete and utter insanity, but at this point the trade deficit is not even a political issue for either major political party anymore.

And the really bad news is that this is about as good as things are going to get for the U.S. economy.  The next major economic downturn is right around the corner, and our employment crisis is going to get much, much worse once that strikes.

Already, layoffs in January were 17.6 percent higher than they were in January a year ago and businesses all over the country are shutting down following a very disappointing holiday season.

In addition, the Baltic Dry Index has dropped to stunningly low levels.  In fact, it is already lower than it was at any point during the last recession.  The following is an excerpt from a recent article by Mac Slavo

The Baltic Dry Index (BDI) is used by economists and stock traders alike as a leading economic indicator because it predicts future economic activity. The index tracks in US dollars and measures global supply and demand for commodity shipments among bulk carriers including raw materials like lumber, coal, metallic ores, and grains. What makes this particular measurement so distinct from others, according to economic Howard Simmons, is that the BDI “is totally devoid of speculative content” because “people don’t book freighters unless they have cargo to move.”

On Thursday, the Baltic Dry Index was sitting at 564, That is not too far above the record low level of 554 that was established in July 1986.

So don’t be fooled by all the happy talk from the mainstream media and from politicians like Barack Obama.

They are lying to you, and their lies will soon be evident for all the world to see.

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Zoomorph's picture

A "good job" means selling myself for more than 30 hours a week? So as to buy a bunch of junk that I don't need and won't make me happier, and meanwhile help the fat cats I'm working for get even richer? No thanks.

AssFire's picture

Let me know how you feel about 30 hours/ weeek after you have some kids. Most of us are saving and stacking for our families and that is what makes the theft even worse.

localsavage's picture

He should stay away from nail guns.

MarketAnarchist's picture

Governments distort data and feed it to the public? Impossible!

MontgomeryScott's picture

So, if I work more than 50 hours a week at ONE place, does this put me in the hated 'one percent' category? If I also ENJOY my work, does this elevate me to the elite '1/10th of one percent' status?

"Governments distort data and feed it to the public? Impossible!"




GrowerJohn's picture

If you find yourself unemployed or underemployed, you should start a garden!


How to Make Garden Soil for Free

The9thDoctor's picture

It's 44% now, and it will be close to 20% in upcoming decades.  Automation will reduce the number of necessary employees, and the few jobs remaining will be technical jobs to service the automated systems.  Those technical jobs would be very short shifts.

We have to take off the pre-Bretton Woods era glasses, and put on a newer pair.

Full-time employment with benefits and a pension and big boss that will take care of you is a bygone era after Nixon got the US off of the gold standard, after ERISA passed, after NAFTA was passed, and after trickle down, I mean up economics was shown to be a giant wealth transfer.  The banks get bailed out and yet righties cry foul when low-income people want some leftover crumbs. 

Eventually the 99% will all be on welfare because employment will become a thing of the past.  Then the 99% will use their welfare to purchase goods and services provided by the 1%.  That's the new post-industrial world, and it will get more and more profound as the decades roll on.  We can't go back to the 1947-1957 decade of post WWII United States that Snyder misses so much, because the world is now globalized and has recovered immensely from the destruction of World War 2.

Having hundreds of full-time employees working in agriculture, mining, or on shop floors is obsolete.  Robots will eventually replace today's service workers.  Artificial Intelligence will eventually replace today's knowledge workers. 

I could whine all day on internet message boards and blame Bush or Obama for the lack of full time work, or I could put my big boy pants on and start a business that utilizes independent contractors because hiring full-time employees no longer makes any business sense.  The people who whine about lack of full time jobs, probably wouldn't want to hire full time employees themselves.  Why the heck would you hire full time employees when you could hire twice or three times as many part timers for the same amount of payroll expenses?  If a full timer calls in sick, you are screwed, if a part timer calls in, it's not as burdensome. 

I just wish more people looked at things from a business perspective, instead of a big boss will take care of me like a big daddy figure does.  Businesses don't exist to provide full time jobs to the masses, businesses exist to make money for their owners.  If the 99% understood that we wouldn't have so much bickering and confusion.  If you want full time work, build a business and you'll get 168 hours a week guaranteed!

sun tzu's picture

I'm sure those in power will keep billions of useless humans around.  LOL you're so clueless

New World Chaos's picture

Heard of permatemping?  That's what happens when businesses want to be able to fire people on the spot with no hassles, guaranteed.  They hire a temp, sometimes full time, for years.  It's a guaranteed dead end job.  They won't let the temps become regular employees even though the temp agency charges the business 25% more than the temp is worth, and then pays the temp maybe 2/3 of what he is worth.  The agency takes all that extra skim just to shuffle a few papers with each paycheck.  It's like paying a full round of taxes before you even pay your taxes!   And we haven't even added health care (or lack thereof) to the equation. 

Since overprotective labor laws are what got us in this situation, we need even more overprotective labor laws to get us out (/sarc)

RaceToTheBottom's picture

Whew, lucky we have Social Security to fall back on when I get tired of working three jobs (all less than 20 hours a week).

drendebe10's picture

Another standing ovation for another great outcome thanks to the incompetent corrupt divisive arrogant narcissistic illegal indonesian kenyan alien muslim sociopathic pathological liar in chief fudgepacker while it continues to live its celebrity grand imperial golf lifestyle on the backs of all you tax paying U.S. citizen saps.   So get off your Christian high horses and bow down to allah so the muslim terrorists can kill more innocent people across the globe while the fudgepacker practices its putting and the wookie buys another $17000 dress that makes him look like a ho.....  ain't. amerika grand since the fudgepacker necame tyrant king.....  Hahahaha 

PresidentCamacho's picture

I want to have kids but I don't think it will happen with me being able to give them a good life until maybe after the reset. UNLESS I get a government job.




CH1's picture

Forget their script, Camacho. Find yourself a nice girl, move away from their bullshit and have your kids.

As long as you dream in their vocabulary, you remain their serf.

RaceToTheBottom's picture

"As long as you dream in their vocabulary, you remain their serf."

Nice descriptive words, thanks for your post

Greenskeeper_Carl's picture

It's a risk, that's for sure. I have one and I have another on the way. It kinda scares me to think about what they will be dealing with, and it absolutely infuriates me that they are born in debt servitude in this country. And getting their social security card in the mail feels like you are getting their slave card. But, you can't let those fears run your life, or ruin your life. I love being a father, and I (hope/ think) will be able to take care of them far better than most of the population if anything bad happens.

Tall Tom's picture

If you want children then adopt rather than breed.

_SILENCER's picture

Nicely said.

The whole goddamn thing hinges on us participating in their money system.  Imagine if the small businesses in your area began trading in silver measures instead.

A tax free method of exchange, yeah?

New World Chaos's picture

Rothschild says:  "Damn these few smart and honorable people!  Even when only half awake, they are dangerously unpredictable.  But at least they don't have kids they can't afford...  Hmmmmm..." <twirls moustache>

The puppetmasters are trying to breed the perfect serf.

kappal_toba_dhurr_ne_thook's picture

Deekra (dear), what makes you think any "reset" is going to come soon or that it is going to be short-lived? It may happen in a long while and it make take decades for USA to get back to "normal."  After all, things in USA are going down not only because of that country's own doing but because the world has changed.  There are a LOT more competitors around, AND you have illegals by the millions and gangs and drugs, etc.  The basic moral fabric of the society is all-but gone.  

It is sad but this is the truth.  So get rid of that notion that any reset is going to happen in a week or month or it will take a short time to be completed.  Chances are we will not see good times in USA in our lifetimes. 

Zoomorph's picture

Kids need not be expensive. If you don't buy them the latest in fashion and the latest tech gadgets, give them toys, money, and indulge their every whim, they probably stand a better chance of becoming intelligent when they grow up, too.

Most kids in the world are from low-income areas. Kids don't cost a lot. It's the pipe dream you're chasing after that's so expensive.

CH1's picture

Kids don't cost a lot. It's the pipe dream you're chasing after that's so expensive.

Absa-freeking-lootely true!

And I speak from lots of experience.

Super Hans's picture

Kids are a family investment, and no they are expensive. Anyone who says that they are not, does not have any.

plane jain's picture



Most will want at least a 2 bedroom place instead of 1 bedroom.


Required safety gear...backward facing car seat, forward facing car seat, booster.

Health insurance/medical care


Toys and gadgets are really small potatoes. Activities can get ridiculous, most classes are at least $20 for one mom said that they spend $35,000 a year for a child to play on a travel hockey team.


mercy's picture

Kids are an expensive investment in time. Money? Not necesarily.

PresidentCamacho's picture

I want to have kids but I don't think it will happen with me being able to give them a good life until maybe after the reset. UNLESS I get a government job.




Pitiful's picture

Can't have 'em! A vasectomy was the best decision I ever made. 

rwe2late's picture

For most people a "good job" means working more than 30 hours per week and paid above minimum wage to be able to support themselves and their family.

It's about food, shelter, and medical care before it is about buying "junk".

Zoomorph's picture

I just find it curious what you guys phrase it as a GOOD thing to sell yourself for over 30 hours a week. If you called it a necessary evil or admitted that you're enslaved by the system, I'd understand.

My goal is to sell myself for less than 10-20 hours a week (as little as possible, actually) and still to make a full salary (or however much I require) to support my lifestyle. I wouldn't be opposed to abbandoning my already-frugal lifestyle, though, should that no longer be possible. It's still possible to survive without being anyone's bitch in our world.

Creepy A. Cracker's picture

Wow.  I love my job and work from 40 to 48 hours per week.  Since my job has made it so that all of my properties are paid off I can stop working at any time.  I just show up because I enjoy it.  Too bad you "sell yourself" for a job that you hate.  A job where you are someone's "bitch." (Are you a gay male prostitute?) Have you ever considered counseling and/or medication to correct your mental problem?  With as little as you "sell yourself" Dear Leader Obamacare may very well cover the doctor visits and the drugs for you.

Ralph Spoilsport's picture

Sounds like you're not really living, just surviving. Right now, you sound like someone with a bad attitude that nobody would want to hire who will get replaced by automation.

Zoomorph's picture

I have various personal projects that I really enjoy "working" on. I feel alive when I can spend a lot of my time working on something that I care about, even if I make no money from it, rather than waste my time working for someone else who, as you accurately described, is liable to lay me off to make an extra 0.01% profit in the next quarter. :-)

People usually want to hire people who will make them money. The logic is: I'll pay you $10 to generate $15 of profit for me. Basically, they want to hire tools or idiots. So I'm hardly offended if you say that I'm an undesirable employee. Of course that doesn't mean I can't give a good interview when I want to... anyone intelligent needs to know how to dissimulate.

Aussiekiwi's picture

Yeah, not a Team player!! not on the Red or the Blue Team, I like him.

newdoobie's picture

It's about food, shelter, and medical care before it is about buying "junk".


Take a trip through the hood, Bedsheet for a front door, no curtains, no water, yet big screen TV and awesome rims on the car

Bloppy's picture

That Gallup CEO is going to have an "accident" soon, of an Argentine variety


SI Swimsuit follows Nationwide's strategy: hey, let's piss everybody off!

August's picture

First NASA, and now SI Swimsuit... this "Muslim Outreach" thing has just gone too far.

GetZeeGold's picture



Instead of calling her plus size......maybe they should have called her healthy looking.

drendebe10's picture

No worries, mate.  Just like Brian Williams lying to the sheeple that his helicopter went down from an RPG & AK47 fire and he saw a dead person floating in water after Katrina. Everyone is just following the lead of the pathiliar in chief who has set such an honorable tine in amerika.   Hoo raa

dimwitted economist's picture

wow.. i'm in the 44% about 50% of the time! Holy shit!!!

NoDebt's picture

"So don’t be fooled by all the happy talk from the mainstream media and from politicians like Barack Obama."

The only people who are fooled by Barack Obama are those that want to be fooled.  

Long live the Baltic Dry!

Molon Labe!

I'm really worked up tonight, I guess.

Creepy A. Cracker's picture

What?!?!?!  You mean that Dear Leader Obama isn't going to pay my bills for me?  Damn!... Fooled again.

kappal_toba_dhurr_ne_thook's picture

If we had not lived in USA and did not have friends there, we too would be fooled.  The mainstream media makes things out like as if life in USA is one big party, when in fact it is close to one big hell.  That is why we got out and have NEVER regretted that decision.  Giving up our green cards was the one of the happiet days of our lives.  

Ralph Spoilsport's picture

Many of us used to have careers. Now we're lucky just to have a "job".

NoDebt's picture

I spent my entire career trying not to have a "job".  I finally succeeded.  I'm debt free and self-employed.  Yes, I get socked with taxes out the wazoo on what I earn, but I don't try to earn kajonga bucks any more.

You wanna make it through the desert of the 21st century?  You better grow camel humps.  Cause it's a long fucking way between watering holes.  Dragging a debt anchor behind you on the journey is ill advised.



Ralph Spoilsport's picture

I took a buyout in the late 90's and then did consulting jobs I wanted to do. Those jobs started to disappear  in 2008 but I didn't have any debt to speak of. The house is paid off but taxes are starting to hurt. I usually break even every month by doing everything from small business IT stuff to tractor repair. I have a lot of good tools and "dry powder" if something unexpected comes up. Barring a disaster, I should squeak by while watching friends and neighbors repeat history by taking on easy credit and buying useless gadgets and new cars.

NoDebt's picture

Sounds like we have a lot in common.  

FredFlintstone's picture

You guys are my heroes


NoDebt's picture

(Possible sarcasm aside), you can do it too.  I'm not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but my IQ goes up dramatically when money is involved.  

Pay off debts first.  If that means you have to forgo savings for now, so be it.  Getting out of debt is job one.  Always.  And I mean everything- even the mortgage.  Shoot one debt target at a time straight into the ground and then fix your sights on the next one using the extra ammo you got by relieving yourself of the previous debt.  Your gun gets bigger as you go.  You've now shrunk your financial radar cross-section down to the size of an acorn (believe me, you'll like it better).  You don't NEED massive income to support your lifestyle any more.  

If you took a picture of my financial profile you'd see a stealth bomber with glider wings and a low coefficient of drag.  

I can get from A to B silently and invisibly using almost no energy.  I could ride barely-perceptible thermals of finacial lift for 10 years without kicking the engines on if I needed to.  

Experian, Trans Union and Equfax don't know much about me except "pays as agreed" across the board.  I could borrow insane amounts of money, but I rarely use credit.  I leave almost no wake behind me.  I raise no suspicion.  

In a world measured in debt, the debt-free are like ghosts.  We pass into and through things and observers have only vague recollections we were ever there.  We can not be viewed using their technology.  We are invisible.


Ralph Spoilsport's picture

Nicely done. Reduced RCS makes one stealthy, wealthy and wise.