From Lucia Mutikani of Reuters, writing about America’s forgotten:
Economists, analyzing government data, estimate about 4 million fewer people are in the labor force than in December 2007, primarily due to a lack of jobs rather than the normal aging of America’s population. The size of the shift underscores the severity of the jobs crisis.
If all those so-called discouraged jobseekers had remained in the labor force, August’s jobless rate of 8.1 percent would have been 10.5 percent.
The labor force participation rate, or the proportion of working-age Americans who have a job or are looking for one has fallen by an unprecedented 2.5 percentage points since December 2007, slumping to a 31-year low of 63.5 percent.
“We never had a drop like that before in other recessions. The economy is worse off than people realize when people just look at the unemployment rate,” said Keith Hall, senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University in Arlington, Virginia.
For more on the cooking of the unemployment numbers, watch this clip from Lauren Lyster of RT’s Capital Account:
As Adam Liptak of the New York Times noted four years ago, “The United States has less than 5 percent of the world’s population. But it has almost a quarter of the world’s prisoners.”