Rebound: 90 Million Eligible Workers Have Dropped Out Of Labor Force


There are 316 million people – men, women and children – living in the United States.

Of that number, approximately 245 million are eligible to work according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. By the bureau’s most recent count, there are 155,559,000 people working at some kind of job – and, as new numbers released Tuesday reveal, there are 90,609,000 more eligible workers who have elected to drop out of the labor force.

That’s more than one third of eligible workers who, for various reasons, aren’t factored into the BLS unemployment computation – which would explain, at least in part, why the unemployment rate remains stable (it’s currently at 7.2 percent, down from 7.3 percent in August.) Employment in the U.S. increased by about 133,000 people last month, but 73,000 eligible workers dropped out during the same period.

That continues a five-year trend. The pre-recession labor force remained relatively stable until late 2008, when it began a numbers dive that persists to this day. Since President Barack Obama took office, the percentage of eligible Americans participating in the labor force has sunk from 65.7 percent to a new low of 63.2 percent.

For some perspective, here’s a 10-year graph taken from the BLS website:


Personal Liberty

Ben Bullard

Reconciling the concept of individual sovereignty with conscientious participation in the modern American political process is a continuing preoccupation for staff writer Ben Bullard. A former community newspaper writer, Bullard has closely observed the manner in which well-meaning small-town politicians and policy makers often accept, unthinkingly, their increasingly marginal role in shaping the quality of their own lives, as well as those of the people whom they serve. He argues that American public policy is plagued by inscrutable and corrupt motives on a national scale, a fundamental problem which individuals, families and communities must strive to solve. This, he argues, can be achieved only as Americans rediscover the principal role each citizen plays in enriching the welfare of our Republic.

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  • fahkir1

    I wonder if they could get a chart showing the job decline since Obuthead got elected. Oh, sorry. Since Obuthead got fraudlected. Twice. Bet that would look like chutes and ladders, without any ladders.

    • Matforce

      • fahkir1

        Interesting, but not what I asked for. Thanks for trying.

      • Sylvin

        Mark, find and watch the whole video, not just that short 5 minute click. I know it’s hard for a talking point party loyalist to listen to anything longer than a few minutes, but you might actually learn something and finally understand what he is really saying (he is not agreeing with your political views).

  • KennyLLC

    Twenty nine hour jobs aren’t going to pay the bills or make you eligible for health insurance. Companies are restructuring labor to avoid the Obamacare mandate, and people who want real health insurance will drop-out of the labor force, opt out of Obamacare, and reinvent themselves.
    Meanwhile, the 29 hour jobs will be filled by cut-throat “guest workers” and young people living at home with mom and dad. These will also opt out of Obamacare and simply pay the fine due to their good health.
    In the end Obama looks like he is creating more jobs.

    • fahkir1

      And obuthead can go on TV and say he has created millions of jobs because everyone is going to need 3 or 4 of these 29 hour jobs just to feed their families.


  • CSN

    73,000 people dropped out of the work force? Perhaps they should say 73,000 people were furloughed from the work force, or their hours were cut so they had to look for a full time position, or get another part-time job to supplement the loss of their 40 hour work week due to ACA.

    • fahkir1

      Or 73,000 were wrongfully terminated. The UCA will be the death of the 40 hour work week, not to mention the death of America.

      • mark

        The 40 hour work week is already dead. And American capitalism killed it. What planet have you been living on? American business has been part timing more and more American workers every year for 30 years. Like this is something new? And now they have the Affordable Care Act as an excuse to do so in even larger numbers. As if they ever needed one in the past. Part timing increases profits. And profits are all that matters to American business. Whatever increases profits is good. Whatever lowers profits like paying people a living wage and good benefits is bad.

        • JDean3123

          Start your on business. In six months to a year you’ll realize how ignorant your statement is. If the job is worth $15.00 an hour, they will be paid that amount. When a business is thriving and growing, pay increases, work hours are increased and overtime is abundant. In a down economy, businesses try to hang onto good people by asking them to take a pay cut or reduce their hours. You have to trim expenses, reduce outgoing revenue to balance with what is coming in. Eventually you either have to stop paying for health insurance, reduce hours to part time or go out of business. When business drops off it is painful, but you have to let people go.
          Let’s stop the crony capitalism, stop propping up large corporations with tax dollars for political donations. I can’t afford large donations or to hire a lobbyist. I make do with what I have and I am grateful for the people that stick with me through thick and thin.
          There is no such thing as too big to fail.

        • Sylvin

          Love your generalized comments there Mark. Yes, EVERY BUSINESSMAN is the EXACT SAME! (Just like every liberal/progressive is the same, right)? EVERYONE is greedy and terrible. Every damn greedy businessman who runs a business is just for the bucks. But MARK, when he goes to work, isn’t there for the money. NO, MARK is there to HELP PEOPLE. Mark, WAKE UP. PEOPLE WORK TO MAKE MONEY, so they can SUPPORT THEIR FAMILY. That is WHY PEOPLE work.
          This is news because as more and more people can survive without working, they WON’T work. Why work when you can sit at home and make more than the job you can get? We are paying people not to work, just like we pay farmers not to grow food. This central command and control economy will continue to get worse because nobody can plan an economy correctly. The more they try to control it the more trouble we will have, and the more disasterous programs the govt. will implement (just like the AFC).

      • chocopot

        “The UCA will be the death of the 40 hour work week”

        Just one of its goals.

  • Matforce

    How are those Free Trade Agreements working out for ya? Between $600 & more then $800 BILLION in trade deficits each year shortly after China joined the WTO with MFN status to suit America, Inc. But we MUST pursue unprecedented and continued favor for the “job creators!” (how disingenuous!)

  • lokiswife

    And out of those 155,559,000 people, how many are working in jobs that require more than “Would you like fries with that?” How many of them are working in jobs that use their college education or special training? How many of them are past retirement age and working to survive a few more years? A “job” can mean a lot of things and not all of them are in the favor of workers…

    • mark

      There are also millions of Americans working in the underground economy never counted in government statistics. Those who work under the table or for cash to avoid taxes – and those who work in the illegal economy as prostitutes, shoplifters, fences, bookies, drug dealers, fraudsters, burglars, car thieves, chop shop operators, etc. The U.S. has always had one of the largest crime rates in the industrialized world that operates hand-in-hand with its capitalist system. This industry employs millions of Americans as well, always has, always will.

  • Mad Murray Mashinky

    Good job, OBOZO!! Why not extend unemployment benefits to 199 weeks & how about another 2,700 page bill to squash more freedoms & give out more free goodies paid for by Joe & Jane taxpayer, how about some more stifling regulations & codes by the EPA on coal producers? There has never been a worse prez than this SOB POS who does gives a rat’s butt about anyone!! Either he is stupidest sucker on earth or intentionally trying to destroy the economy & nation..either way he can’t win!!
    May I remind all those sanctimonious conservatives & Libertarians who did not vote for Romney or who sat out election, because they did not want, “the lesser of two evils”…Romney had many faults, but he knew how to create jobs & get positive things done fiscally. I’m sure things would be better if he had won!

    • mark

      The whole election was fixed, don’t you know that? Whenever a Democrat wins, the election is fixed. Whenever a Republican wins, it is a fair election.

      • Kleaver The Beaver

        Wouldn’t shock me if it was fixed…You are always moronic in your posts!!

  • mark

    So the labor participation rate has dropped since the height of U.S. employment before the 2008 financial crisis from 65.7% to 63.2% today after the deepest and longest recession in U.S. history since 1938. And you consider this news? I am surprised it has not dropped much further. Baby boomers are beginning to retire in larger and larger numbers as well, something conveniently left out of this article.

    • Munnster

      Retired workers are not taken into consideration for the eligible worker pool, so they are in the equation (They are part of the 71 million excluded 316-245)

  • Motov

    I wonder what the percentage are federal jobs,…

  • Don

    Well now isn’t that interesting that we have just seen the White House post on the media that unemployment had been reduced to 7.2%?

    These idiots keep feeding this information to the lame stream media and they all swear to the lies Obozo tells them, and he usually slips in the point that there are a large number of people that have STOPPED LOOKING FOR WORK, but he never says where they are, and how they are able to exist while not working!

    60 Minutes told us a couple of weeks ago where several billion of them are, and backed it up with ex workers of the agency of the department of disabilities that has more than doubled in size over the last couple of years, and during the interview stated that they were told to just give disability payments without getting any medical information at all, so what comes down to is this is where a large number of people that “stopped looking for work” are able to continue to live while not working, IT IS JUST ANOTHER WELFARE PROGRAM THAT OBAMA HAS SLIPPED UNDER THE RADAR FOR TAX PAYERS TO TAKE CARE OF!

    This worthless gang of street thugs that are fouling up our White House, that
    will soon be renamed “The Out House” and will probably have to be totally fumigated or possibly have to be rebuilt to get the stench out of it that this
    rat infestation will have left.