(NaturalNews) The latest figures released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) provide little reassurance about the alleged recovery of the flailing American economy. According to the data, the real unemployment rate -- that is, the number of actual families where not a single able person is working -- is now at 20 percent, or one in five, which is significantly higher than the mere seven percent unemployment rate claimed by the corporate media.
As relayed by CNSNews.com from the BLS website, a shocking 16,127,000 American families currently have none of its members working. This is out of an overall total of 80,445,000 American families, with families being defined as two or more people who live together and who are related by birth, adoption or marriage.
"The BLS designates a person as 'employed' if 'during the survey reference week' they '(a) did any work at all as paid employees; (b) worked in their own business, profession, or on their own farm; (c) or worked 15 hours or more as unpaid workers in an enterprise operated by a member of the family,'" explains CNSNews.com.
More people on government dole than working
Of the 16,127,000 families where not a single family member is working, some of these could include families where all the members are elderly or out of the workforce. But a great many of them also likely have employable members who are not working, as the same BLS tracking data reveals that nearly 8 million families, or 9.6 percent, have at least one eligible family member who is unemployed.
"BLS designates a person as unemployed if they did not have a job but were actively seeking one," adds CNSNews.com. "BLS designates someone as not in the labor force if they did not have a job and were not actively seeking one. (An elderly couple, in which both the husband and wife are retired, would count as a family in which no one held a job.)"
An even more discouraging statistic is the number of people working these days compared to the number receiving government welfare. According to the data, so many folks have been pushed out of the labor market due to a lack of jobs that there are now more Americans on the dole than working full-time in the private sector.
"At this point... the number of Americans getting money or benefits from the federal government each month exceeds the number of full-time workers in the private sector by more than 60 million," wrote Michael Snyder for End of the American Dream.
More than 40 percent of working age Americans are not working
Using a different metric, the BLS' civilian employment-population ratio reveals a shocking overall percentage of working-age Americans who are not working. While nearly 65 percent of working-age Americans were employed back in the early 2000s, that percentage has dropped to less than 59 percent today, with no end in sight.
"That means that more than 41 percent of all working age Americans do not have a job," added Snyder, noting that welfare spending and entitlement payments now suck up an astounding 69 percent of the entire federal budget. This is hardly a surprise when considering that what used to be considered middle class in years past now teeters on full-blown poverty.
"About one-third of American households live 'hand-to-mouth,' meaning that they spend all their paychecks," explains a recent piece by CNN about the dwindling middle class and the inability of an increasing number of families to make ends meet on supposed middle-class incomes.