Record 87,897,000 Americans Not in the Labor Force

Amid disappointing unemployment numbers that fell 80,000 jobs short of projections, another number is raising eyebrows: the number of Americans not in the labor force has hit a record high 87,897,000.

This figure explains why overall unemployment dropped from 8.3% to 8.2%, as the Department of Labor's unemployment figure does not include people who have given up hope and are not actively seeking employment.

When the number of individuals who have stopped looking for a job and/or who are working part-time but desire full-time employment is included--a figure known as the "underemployment rate"--real unemployment stands at 19.1%.


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