The New Year begins with a record number of men not in the labor force. Those “not in the labor force” remains at a record level and this cannot be explained away simply by shifting demographics. Demographics alone is a convenient explanation for this large number but unfortunately only explains part of the large number of Americans not being included in the labor force. We have many going to college but as it turns out, not all colleges and degrees are created equal although most universities charge premium tuition. You also have many wanting a job but not being able to find one. The end result is a large number of Americans floating around in the odd category of not being in the labor force. Roughly 94.5 million Americans are not in the labor force. Of those, a large number are men.
Those not in the labor force starts the year at near record levels
The story of those not in the labor force was severely underreported in the last few years. It is a vital component of our labor force since the headline unemployment rate is derived from the size of the total labor pool. Policy decisions are based on this figure being accurate.
A record number of men are not in the labor force. We have 38,151,000 men not in the labor force to start the year out based on BLS figures.
“(Breitbart) The participation rate for men was 68.6 percent, declining 0.1 percent from October’s level of 68.7 percent. The 68.6 percent participation rate is also arecord in a history that goes back as far as January 1948 — the earliest available participation data — when the participation rate for men was 85.2 percent.”
This is a record no matter how you slice it. It might be useful to see how those not in the labor force grew in 2015:
Those not in the labor force grew by 1,920,000 in 2015, or by an average of 160,000 per month. But let us now take a look at the actual civilian labor force:
This category only grew by 1,172,000 in 2015. There is something going on here beyond older people retiring. And the idea that people are retiring and doing well is a misnomer. Most are living under the new retirement plan of working until you die since pensions have been guttedand most people have no money in their retirement plans. This is a troubling result of turning over our government to financial profiteers that have raided the American workforce.
The rise in healthcare costs is going to put a burden on our older population that makes up the bulk of those not in the labor force. The perfect example of this was the case of Martin Shkreli that ended up buying the rights for a unique lifesaving drug and jacking up prices by a ridiculous amount. It wasn’t his company that did the research or found this new drug. He merely was exploiting the system in a perverse way to his benefit. He is simply one case of larger systemic issues.
Employment, income, and financial prosperity are the most important issues for Americans. It is ironic that in 2008 the election was driven largely by the economy. It is very likely to be driven again by the same thing now that it is official that the middle class is a minority. Keep an eye out on the labor force participation rate.