Record number of Americans no longer in workforce as welfare state grows and economy shrinks

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(NaturalNews) Five years after the "official end" of the Great Recession of 2008-09, there are a number of signs that the U.S. economy has yet to fully recover. Quarterly GDP -- gross domestic product -- growth has been abysmal, often below 2 percent (which is not enough to sustain the expansion of government programs), which has led to paltry job creation as well.

In fact, according to the most recent data, Americans in record numbers are now out of the workforce altogether, even as the welfare state expands and the federal government places more regulatory burdens on numerous industries.

As reported by CNS News, with cited figures and data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics -- part of the Labor Department -- the number of Americans 16 and older who were not participating in the workforce climbed to a record high in June, to 92,120,000.

Falling labor market participation, underemployment and low growth

This means that, not only did that number of Americans not have jobs, but they also were not actively seeking employment during the previous four weeks. That figure is up by 111,000 from 92,009,000 in April:

In June, according to BLS, the labor force participation rate for Americans was 62.8 percent, matching a 36-year low. The participation rate is the percentage of the population that either has a job or actively sought one in the last four weeks.

In December, April, May, and now June, the labor force participation rate has been 62.8 percent.

Before December, the last time the labor force participation rate sank as low as 62.8 percent was in February 1978, when it was also 62.8 percent. At that time, Jimmy Carter was president.

That was more than 30 years ago.

CNS News reported that at no time during the presidencies of Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton or George W. Bush was such a small percentage of the civilian non-institutional population either working or seeking work.

This is one of the data sets that is not reflected by the overall national unemployment rate; the rate fell from 6.3 percent in April to 6.1 percent in June, and while that seems encouraging at first, a closer look at the data reveals that a large part of the decrease was attributable to scores more Americans dropping out of the workforce altogether.

Unemployment figures also don't include figures for underemployment -- that is, the percentage of Americans who are working but are not working at full capacity. According to Gallup, that figure currently sits at 15.6 percent (and by the way, Gallup has the national unemployment rate higher than the Department of Labor at 6.5 percent).

The payroll to population figure is 45 percent; "payroll to population" is a measure of those who are employed by an employer for at least 30 hours per week. Payroll to population is calculated as a percentage of the total population, Gallup says.

'On a crash course'

Meanwhile, the number of Americans on public assistance programs since President Obama took office has also risen to a record number, as noted by Judicial Watch, a government watchdog organization, in 2012:

The latest government figures reveal that an astonishing number of people are collecting public benefits such as food stamps and disability checks, revealing an alarming trend of dependence on government rather than self-sufficiency associated with the American dream.

Two years later, in January of this year, The New American reported that more than 47 million Americans -- the highest number in 50 years -- were on some form of taxpayer-funded assistance:

Fifty years ago this week, President Lyndon Johnson announced the "War on Poverty" during his first State of the Union speech. Under the Obama administration, however -- five decades, countless unconstitutional federal welfare programs, and more than $20 trillion later -- poverty levels remain largely unchanged even based on official numbers, and dependence on government has reached unprecedented new heights.

Falling levels of employment combined with shrinking numbers of taxpayers has put the nation's economy on a crash course. It is a combination of factors that is simply unsustainable.


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