Record 94 Million Americans Not In The Labor Force; Participation Rate Lowest Since 1977

Tyler Durden's picture

While the kneejerk headling scanning algos are focusing on the seasonally-adjusted headline monthly NFP increase which came in a worse than expected 173K, the presidential candidates - especially the GOP - are far more focused on another data point: the labor force participation rate, and the number of Americans not in the labor force. Here, they will have some serious ammo, because according to the BLS, the main reason why the unemployment rate tumbled to the lowest since April 2008 is because another 261,000 Americans dropped out of the labor force, as a result pushing the total number of US potential workers who are not in the labor force, to a record 94 million, an increase of 1.8 million in the past year, and a whopping 14.9 million since the start of the second great depression in December 2007 while only 4 million new jobs have been created.


And since there are still those confused why wages so stubbornly refuse to rise, here is our favorite labor-related chart, showing the annual increase in average hourly wages superimposed next to the US civilian employment-to-population ratio, which remains solidly below 60%, and has barely risen since the great financial crisis.

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Shocker's picture

94 Million, just think about that for a minute.

Job Layoff / Closing List


VinceFostersGhost's picture



94 million lives.....they don't matter.


Hillary/Jeb 2016TM

StackShinyStuff's picture

Oh COME ON MARKET!!! Why ya being such a pussy?  Rally on this shit don't cave like a spineless worm!

VinceFostersGhost's picture



Dude.....even slaves use to get vacation.

HardlyZero's picture

Hillarious,.... it's delirious.


Delirious (Boneless)

One sip from the fifth
I ain't seen nothing, girl, plead the fifth

VinceFostersGhost's picture



plead the fifth


Remember that old episode of the Crocodile Hunter?


Be's an email server.......danger danger!

A Nanny Moose's picture

Shouldn't Hillarity be tried for treason at this point?

Secret Treaties's picture
Secret Treaties (not verified) A Nanny Moose Sep 4, 2015 9:56 AM

The people who could work but aren't looking (CNP - CLF), as a percent of total US population:

AGuy's picture

"Shouldn't Hillarity be tried for treason at this point?"

In this Bizarro world we live into day, she is likely to get awarded the Nobel Peace prize and a congressional medal.


giovanni_f's picture

US might pull an "Ukraine" and blame Putin. Some evil, anti-american, external forces behind the decline of this once so insanely great country now reduced to a oligarch-infested shitheap.

AGuy's picture

"US might pull an "Ukraine" and blame Putin. Some evil, anti-american"

Did you mean blame "Capitalism"? aka Like Benie, Hilary, Jeb, etc does?


UnicornSkittles's picture

'How did you go bankrupt? Two ways. Gradually, then suddenly.'

Paveway IV's picture

That's 94 million pissed-off Americans who won't be losing a dime of pay when they march to Washington and burn that psychopathic circus to the ground. 

Not that I'm advocating violent overthrow of the U.S. government. That's technically impossible because there is no more constitutionally-defined U.S. and whatever exists in Washington today is hardly 'a government'.

94 million people have nothing to lose from hitting the RESET button. This is bound to get interesting.

John Law Lives's picture

"94 million people have nothing to lose from hitting the RESET button. This is bound to get interesting."

I think we are seeing this play out bit by bit.  Some people are so angry that they will walk right up and shoot a cop knowing they may die or get caught and spend a long time in prison.  It gets real scary when people are no longer afraid of the consequences.  Let's just hope that cops don't get fed up and go on strike in major population centers.

Government needs you to pay taxes's picture

How many of those 94 million are living the 'gimmiedat free shit' lifestyle?  14ish million on disability, 50-54MM on the 'Ejaculate Better Today' program, 1.2 million in Federal housing, 50? million getting free health insurance.  I'd suggest at least half of the 94 million are content, cuz it's summertime, and the living is easy, courtesy of the taxpayer-sponsored free shit programs for the lazy and stupid.

giovanni_f's picture

They are scared if you tell them they will be blocked from obtaining the next iphone model.

Uchtdorf's picture

Have you ever heard of the New Madrid fault?

lordylord2's picture
lordylord2 (not verified) Paveway IV Sep 4, 2015 10:05 AM

Nothing to lose???  HA HA HA !!!  They will lose their government benefits (i.e. their means of survival).  These people will beg for MORE GOVERNMENT.  MORE taxes.  MORE laws/regulations.  MORE handouts.  They have no interest in economic or social liberty.

94 million have everything to lose from hitting the reset button.  Conversely, People who earn a living and produce goods/services have everything to gain.

AGuy's picture

"94 million people have nothing to lose from hitting the RESET button."

I don't think so. I am pretty sure everyone of them is collecting a gov't check. As long as the gov't checks keep coming, they will remain calm. Its the working stiffs that are more likely to revolt as they see taxes (federal, State, Local) soar, falling wages, and higher Health-insurance costs. That said, many working stiffs will simply just give up and start collecting gov't checks. Probably 50% of those added to the 94M in the past five years have simply given up, Riots will come when the gov't checks don't buy anything and the grocery stores go bare.




Stuck on Zero's picture

It would also be nice to see a curve for the number of people on government support via welfare, Social Security, unemployment, or disability.

Bilderberg Member's picture

261K in one month...Thats 361 Americans every hour of the day throwing in the towel, giving up.

Fukushima Fricassee's picture
Fukushima Fricassee (not verified) VinceFostersGhost Sep 4, 2015 8:11 AM

Crack lives matter

NoVa's picture

but 1977 was a great year for music and started the next 5 years which was probably the greatest period for all kinds of music genre.!


NoVa's picture

off thread topic, but if you like online live music, there is a great site for music of all genre

run by Univ of Pennsylvania in Philly.  from 50's to today.  Folk, rock, punk, everything (except no Lady GaGa stuff).



The Gladiator's picture

Thanks. Needed me some blues today.

Ward cleaver's picture

Disagree, 69-73 the most prolific in rock history. In my humble opinion

NoVa's picture

Yea - I don't disagree - that was a great period.  Stones, Lennon, Pink Floyd many others.

the site is running a survey - best year in music ever - kinda controversial as it depends mostly upon when one comes of age.



farflungstar's picture

I agree 100% too and I wasn't even born then.

spoonful's picture

Funny you say that - For many years I thought the last great records ever were Physical Graffiti and Wish You Were Here in 1975, and that music really started to suck in 1977 because the rhythm and melodies had largely disappeared.  However, as I started to undertsand the real ways of the world, I started to appreciate that the kids making punk music were just reacting to the world around them as were the old Delta bluesmen, and the kids in the 60's who protested Viet Nam, racism, etc. . . . but it all started in 1977 with the Sex Pistols doing "God Save the Queen" . . so while I certainly don't agree that 1977-82 was the "greatest" period for music, your argument is appreciated.          

LawsofPhysics's picture

Yes indeed, producers versus consumers...

..that which cannot be sustained, won't be, period.'s picture

The only numbers that matter.

Portugal employed/total population 4.553/10.46=0.435

Italy employed/total population 22.479/59.83=0.375

Ireland employed/total population 1.964/4.595=0.435

Greece employed/total population 3.63/11.03=0.329

Spain employed/total population 17.866/46.77=0.381

Russia employed/total population 73.1/143.5=0.509

Germany employed/total population42.837/80.62=0.531

China employed/total population (billions all other millions) 0.773/1.357=0.569

US employed/total population 149/318.9=0.467


AGuy's picture

FYI: 2012 US census bureau reports 120M in labor force (I presume statistics collected from US treasury Dept). I took the figures from this report:

     2012 US BLS reports 143M in labor force. an error of about 19% from US Census report. So if we presume the error rate is consist in 2015, the US Labor participation is probably 125M, not 149M. I suspect BLS double counts people (ie same person working two or more part-time jobs), where the Census data is based up IRS Tax filings and less likely to contain dupes.

125M/318M = 0.393

I would imagine the statistics for the other countries is probably in error, since they also use gov't bureaucrats to create these reports.



RockySpears's picture

You have 150% of the UK population "not working, but not registered as unemployed"?  Have I got this right?


Edit:  I should ask if this figure includes retired people too.

TideFighter's picture

They can build the wall...

junction's picture

That participation rate is misleading in that in 1977, women were not on equal footing with men when it came to jobs.  Many companies, even big companies like Met Life, had had a practice of terminating female employees who got married.  Still in 1977, it was possible for a family to live pretty comfortably on a middle class salary, back when almost all houses cost low five figure sums and gasoline was under 40 cents a gallon.  Of course, stagflation came along and then the insane Volcker credit tightening monetary policy which ended 7 1/4% mortgages.  And there were the hikes in local and state taxes of all sorts when Reagan came in, to compensate for lost federal revenue sharing funds as "trickle down" economics and massive military spending shifted the federal budget to subsidizing the rich.  

snr-moment's picture 1977 the BLS didn't count women?  Really???


And Reagan caused the state and local tax hikes??  REALLY??????

surf0766's picture

Do the democracy dance for us.

Show me what democracy looks like ,,,,, this is what....



Rhythmic Slapper's picture

So how did that "trickle up" great society work out for you liberals?


You do realize Volcker had to raise rates because of INSANE Carter economic policies, don't you?


Or would you prefer a loaf of bread to cost a hundred bucks?


I hope you did not breed.

RopeADope's picture

Volcker had to raise rates because of the spending on the Vietnam war.

moneybots's picture

"You do realize Volcker had to raise rates because of INSANE Carter economic policies, don't you?"


It was Carter that installed Volker.  The insane economic policies came before Carter.

Hankster's picture

like funding the Vietnam War and Johnson with the War on Poverty and Nixon breaking the last ties to a gold standard.

Just more steps on the road to the greatest welfare/warfare state/empire ever conceived.  The complete and utter antithesis of the principals this country was founded upon.  The founding fathers are spinning in their graves, cursing us for what we've become

Rhythmic Slapper's picture

Volcker raised rates in 1979-81 idiots. The Vietnam war was long, long gone, got that? I realize debt was there, but war costs were not the main reason. 

Carter's unionistas and socialist policies pushed an already unstable economy over the cliff. Remember back then pay raises were almost automatic and tied to inflation. Unions were very, VERY powerful.

And Carter regretted putting Volcker in his job.

Remember the "misery index" becoming a household word during those days?


I expected more intellect from the readers of this site.

Hankster's picture

Carter was just another brick in the wall. There were already many more bricks in place before him and many more bricks came after. But it appears the wall is almost complete and ready to come crashing down under it's own weight and rot and corruption. Time will tell how many more bricks it can take. Not many I'm guessing

AGuy's picture

"Volcker raised rates in 1979-81 idiots. The Vietnam war was long, long gone, got that? I realize debt was there, but war costs were not the main reason. "

Inflation began when Nixon dumped the gold standard, coupled with the oil shocks, and the Fed's easy money policy enable by Fed Chairman Burns. By the time Carter was in office Inflation became ridiculous. Carter policies definitely tip inflation up, as he, and DNC controlled Congress raised taxes to cover rising costs (cause by inflation). Lets also not forget to throw in LBJ's "great society" forcing wealth fare costs to soar and Minority hiring quotas that through workers under the bus. The 1970's sucked!





Revisionist claptrap. I was there. Mortgages were 14 percent and inflation was running 7 percent and it was called the misery index. This was a direct result of the policies coming out of vietnam and carter made it worse. Volker throttled inflation