94,513,000 Americans Not in the Labor Force; Participation Rate Again Matches 38 Year Low

AP Photo/Paul Sakuma
AP Photo/Paul Sakuma

The number of Americans not participating in the work force exceeded 94 million for the third time in a row last month, according to new government data released Friday.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 94,513,000 people (ages 16 and over) were neither employed nor had made specific efforts to find work in the prior four weeks during the month of October.

The number of Americans outside the labor force in October — due to retirement, schooling, discouragement or otherwise — declined slightly compared to September’s figures when a record 94,610,000 Americans were not participating.

Although the October tally of Americans outside the workforce did not continue the record breaking trend of earlier months, last month’s participation rate remained the same as September’s rate at 62.4 percent — a 38 year low.

The job situation overall looked better than months past, with the economy adding 271,000 jobs and the unemployment rate declining from September’s 5.1 percent to 5.0 percent.

The civilian labor force last month hit 157,028,000 last increasing by 313,000 people compared to September’s 156,715,000 labor force.

Overall, 149,120,000 people were employed, 7,908,000 were unemployed, and 6,052,000 wanted a job during the month of October.


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