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Just 47% of Working Age Americans Have Full Time Jobs

Charts - Duration of U.S. Unemployment


Source - Automatic Earth

VK, roving reporter for The Automatic Earth, has been playing with the numbers from the June 7 employment report issued by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. It seems valuable to look at unemployment from this, a different, angle. Some of it may even surprise you.

The total non institutional civilian labor force (Americans 16 years and older who are not in a institution -criminal, mental, or other types of facilities- or an active military duty) is reported as 238.889 million. Of these, we see: 

  • Employed: 139.206 million people (58.3% of labor force)

  • Unemployed: 14.485 million people (6.1% of labor force)

Obviously, that can't be the total picture, we're only at 64.4%. This is why:

  • Part time employed for economic reasons: 8.931 million people. This concerns people who want a full-time job but can't get one.

  • Part time employed for non-economic reasons: 18.184 million people. Non-economic reasons include school or training, retirement or Social Security limits on earnings, but also childcare problems and family or personal obligations.

But the by far largest category "missing" from both the Employed and Unemployed statistics is the "Not In Labor Force": 85.2 Million people.

The BLS definition states: "Not in the labor force (NILF). A person who did not work last week, was not temporarily absent from a job, did not actively look for work in the previous 4 weeks, or looked but was unavailable for work during the reference week; in other words, a person who was neither employed nor unemployed." (Clearly, this does include lot of unemployed people).

To summarize: 108.616 million people in America are either unemployed, underemployed or "Not in the labor force". This represents 45.5% of working age Americans. 

If you count the "Part time employed for non-economic reasons", you get 126.8 million Americans who are unemployed, underemployed, working part time or "Not in the labor force". That represents 53% of working age Americans.

So less than half of U.S. residents have full time jobs, while the official jobless rate is 9.4%.  Something's missing somewhere.


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Reader Comments (4)

I think they call this a green shoot. Who would have thought, poverty, the new profit frontier...
Jan 25, 2011 at 8:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterS. Gompers
Crash JP Morgan - Buy Silver
Jan 27, 2011 at 7:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous
Shouldn't these numbers exclude anyone over say 65?
Jul 29, 2011 at 4:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterBenjamin
This assumes those of us without full-time jobs want them. I'd rather hang myself than work that much, as I have far better things to do with my life. Employment is income for dummies.
Jul 29, 2011 at 4:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterJustin

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