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Workforce Participation Lowest Since ’83

From USA Today:

More Americans leaving workforce

By Dennis Cauchon, USA TODAY
April 14, 2011

The share of the population that is working fell to its lowest level last year since women started entering the workforce in large numbers three decades ago, a USA TODAY analysis finds.

Only 45.4% of Americans had jobs in 2010, the lowest rate since 1983 and down from a peak of 49.3% in 2000.

Last year, just 66.8% of men had jobs, the lowest on record.

The bad economy, an aging population and a plateau in women working are contributing to changes that pose serious challenges for financing the nation’s social programs.

“What’s wrong with the economy may be speeding up trends that are already happening,” says Marc Goldwein, policy director of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a non-partisan group favoring smaller deficits.

For example, job troubles appear to have slowed a trend of people working later in life, putting more pressure on Social Security, he says.

Another change: the bulk of those not working has shifted from children to adults.

In 2000, the nation had roughly the same number of children and non-working adults. Since then, the population of non-working adults has grown 27 million while the nation added just 3 million children under 18

In other words, in the good old days it adults had jobs. Now we have more non-working adults as we have non-working children.

(We suspect both of the figures would be much higher in China.)

“No matter how wealthy you are, you have a problem if half the population is not working and depending on those who are,” says John Goodman, president of the conservative National Center for Policy Analysis. “Wherever you look, we’ve overpromised.”

And that, in a nutshell, is the biggest problem our country faces today.

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, April 14th, 2011. Comments are currently closed.

3 Responses to “Workforce Participation Lowest Since ’83”

  1. Rusty Shackleford says:

    “Another change: the bulk of those not working has shifted from children to adults.”

    Can someone explain this ludicrous statement to me? I think they mean that those who are normally not part of the workforce now also includes a vast majority of adults instead of it being the normal gaggle of kids who are considered dependents.

    That is, unless we have some sweatshops in the nation that I’m not aware of.

  2. proreason says:

    As planned.

    Because dependents don’t revolt.

  3. GetBackJack says:

    As soon as Obama was announced the winner of the 2008 election, this household set in motion the plans we made to Go Galt. Further, Deponent sayeth not.

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