Home Tattoo Tally Demo Memo: Almost a third of nation's eligible workers idle by labor accounts

Demo Memo: Almost a third of nation's eligible workers idle by labor accounts

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Seems like a lot of folks got their big break or are banking on a lucky streak

Or is the inactivity among America's unemployed something we've been expecting?

More than 87 million Americans aged 16 or older did not work in 2014, nor did they look for work—17 million more than in 2004. Nonworkers grew from 31 to 35 percent of the adult population during those years. What's behind the increase? A big factor is the baby-boom generation, which is inflating the number of retirees. The Bureau of Labor Statistics calls this the "age effect." Here are the four types of nonworking adults...

Slacker?: Hey Don't Look at Me! I put my time in at the Patent Office.

  • The number of adults not in the labor force because they are retired climbed from 31 million to 39 million between 2004 and 2014. Most are aged 65 or older.
  • The number of adults not in the labor force because they are ill or disabled climbed from 12  million to 16 million between 2004 and 2014. Most are aged 55 or older, but a substantial 45 percent are aged 25 to 54.
  • The number of adults not in the labor force because they are in school climbed from 11 million to 16 million between 2004 and 2014. Most are aged 16 to 24.
  • The number of adults not in the labor force because they are caring for home and family was 13.5 million in 2014, the same as in 2004. Two out of three are women aged 25 to 54.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, People Who Are Not In the Labor Force: Why Aren't They Working?

From Demo Memo by Cheryl Russell  http://demomemo.blogspot.com/

Russell is a demographer and the editorial director of New Strategist Publications. She is the former editor-in-chief of American Demographics magazine (then located in Ithaca) and The Boomer Report. She is the author of Bet You Didn't Know and other books on demographic trends. She holds a master's degree in sociology/demography from Cornell University.



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Last Updated on Tuesday, 05 January 2016 19:54  

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