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


by Michael Snyder – 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…



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.


  1. Since my unemployment ran out I am now part of the “not in the labor force” group. No signs of a job I can do in the near future and living with my elderly parents just to keep on living. Gee, do I sound depressed? Yeah, but I keep busy and keep looking. I have little hope that things will get any better though.

    • BullDogBeau says:

      Lady I’m sorry to hear. There are so many that are in your situation and not accounted for. This administration is definately playing with the numbers to hide the reality. A lot of people are still going to be blind-sided when it hits.
      Hang in there I fear most of us will be in a similar boat soon.

  2. Hunker-Down says:

    In a normal economy there were around 200,000 persons entering the work force every month. When we had GDP growth of 3-4 percent, those persons were able to find a job. Today, the TDL crowd wets there pants when their statistical lackeys can jigger the numbers upwards of 200,000.

    We are forced to pay taxes to fund the paychecks of those liars who pump out false statistics. The media, owned by about 8 companies is in bed with the liars. We do not have a free media. Congress says nor does nothing about either. That’s 3 strikes against us. Then there’s the armed IRS, BLM, NSA, FEMA and other armed agencies we fund. How many divisions, disguised as a beneficial agency do the liars have that will be used against the middle and lower class?

    It is disgusting to live in a society with so many who drink the cool aid.

  3. Of course the numbers are manipulated. Do you think our gov’t really wants us to know the truth about how bad unemployment and under-employment is? They’ve lied to us about just about everything else, why not this.

  4. Donna in MN says:

    I often wondered if it is really 6.3% unemployed people now, the unemployment number would be minus 17.7 % if they all found jobs. Now that’s stupid.

  5. themem says:

    20 percent of households don’t have anyone working? Yet the government has cut unemployment benefits – how about we cut the number of illegal immigrants (both those who are living off my back and those who are taking jobs from citizens) and the number of generational welfare leeches and the drug addicts and alcoholics off SSI – then we could help those who worked AND MY TAXES WOULD STILL GO DOWN!

    • Keep in mind that as the baby boomers (I’m one of them as is the DW) begin retiring, the number of homes with no one employed will continue to rise. Although I don’t plan retirement for at least 5-6 more years, when I do, the DW & I will be living off of SS, IRA’s, savings, and a couple of pensions, and will at least “officially” not be working.

      • themem says:

        Ohioprepper – you will have EARNED that status – and I would not suggest otherwise – my issue is with drug addicts that are considered “disabled” because of their choice of lifestyle.

        • themem,
          I agree with you on not only drug addicts, but simply those who are too lazy to work and lacking in morals enough to not mind living off all of us who do work. My point is that the number of 20% or whatever it turns out to be, can be a little misleading, especially as more and more retirees stop working. OTOH, I know a lot of retirees who have worked for so much of their life that being retired became boring, so many have gone back to work, at least part time.

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