The number of Americans whom the U.S. Department of Labor counted as “not in the civilian labor force” in August hit a record high of 88,921,000.
The Labor Department counts a person as not in the civilian labor force if they are at least 16 years old, are not in the military or an institution such as a prison, mental hospital or nursing home, and have not actively looked for a job in the last four weeks. The department counts a person as in “the civilian labor force” if they are at least 16, are not in the military or an institution such as a prison, mental hospital or nursing home, and either do have a job or have actively looked for one in the last four weeks.
In July, there were 155,013,000 in the U.S. civilian labor force. In August that dropped to 154,645,000 – meaning that on net 368,000 people simply dropped out of the labor force last month and did not even look for a job.
There were also 119,000 fewer Americans employed in August than there were in July. In July, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 142,220,000 Americans working. But, in August, there were only 142,101,000 Americans working.
Despite the fact that fewer Americans were employed in August than July, the unemployment rate ticked down from 8.3 in July to 8.1. That is because so many people dropped out of the labor force and stopped looking for work.
EDITOR’S NOTE: According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the total population of the United States is right around 315,000,000.
There are roughly 40,000,000 Americans age 65 or older, 66,500,000 children under the age of 16 and 25,000,000 non-institutionalized, disabled people between the ages of 16 and 64 who are considered incapable of working.
There are also around 2,600,000 people in the non-civilian (state and federal law enforcement officers, paid fire fighters and active duty military personnel) workforce, and another 2,320,000 adults who are institutionalized in medical or correctional facilities.
Oh, and let’s not forget the estimated 12,000,000 illegal aliens in the U.S.
Added together, the number of people in these six groups totals 148,420,000. Subtract that figure from the total population of the U.S. and you’re left with 166,580,000. This is reasonably close to the true number of American civilians between the ages of 16 and 64 who are capable of holding down a job.
Okay, so subtract from that figure the number of American civilians currently working [142,100,000-rounded slightly] and you are left with 24,480,000.
Now, if you want to know what percentage of the total civilian workforce that last number equates to, simply divide it by 166,580,000, and you get 0.1469564173370. Then multiply that number by 100 and the result is 14.7 percent (rounded slightly). This is the approximate percentage of Americans between the ages of 16 and 64 who are capable of working but do not have a job.
Remarkably, it is 6.6 percentage points greater than the official unemployment figure [8.1 percent] released by the Obama Labor Department this week.
Ain’t math fun?