Under President Obama, those considered “Not in the labor force” has grown 10x faster than the labor force.

This chart from Senator Sessions  ,the ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee, is clear:

According to Sen Sessions:

The essential point of this chart is not simply how many people are employed or unemployed, but to illustrate that more and more people are simply not part of the U.S. labor force. This confirms that we are on the wrong track. It is unsustainable to have such a large and growing number of people who are not part of the productive economy. This is not a political argument, but a description of the underlying instability in our economy that has so many Americans worried about the future. The question is what can we do to reverse these trends and start moving in the right direction.

Since January 2009, the labor force;  those over the age of 16 employed or actively seeking employment, not including discouraged workers, retired and those on welfare or disability not looking for work, grew from 154,236,000 to 155,063,000. A gain of 827,000 or .54%.

The “not in the labor force”, the total civilian non-institutional population minus the labor force, grew from 80, 502,000 to 88, 710,000  a gain of 8,208,000 or 10.2%

These numbers highlight troubling trends.

  • Job markets are not keeping up with population growth
  • Young Americans are not joining the work force to account for the retirement of older generation
  • A large number of workers have become so discouraged they have stopped looking for work.

There is no argument against the Senator’s conclusion:

 These factors pose serious fiscal challenges for the United States. A historically low labor force participation rate—together with an aging population and a record number of people drawing federal welfare benefits—puts severe strain on the federal budget in both the near and long-term.

My Conclusion:


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