Record Number of Americans Not in Labor Force in June
July 3, 2014
By Ali Meyer
President Obama introduces his jobs plan in October 2012 in Delray, Fla., one month before he was re-elected. (AP File Photo)
The number of Americans 16 and older who did not participate in the labor force climbed to a record high of 92,120,000 in June, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
This means that there were 92,120,000 Americans 16 and older who not only did not have a job, but did not actively seek one in the last four weeks.
That is up 111,000 from the 92,009,000 Americans who were not participating in the labor force 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.
At no time during the presidencies of Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton or George W. Bush, did such a small percentage of the civilian non-institutional population either hold a job or at least actively seek one.
While the number of Americans not in the labor force increased, the unemployment rate dropped — from 6.3 percent in April to 6.1 percent in June.