US Workforce Population Lowest in 30 Years

Today's workforce has dropped to its lowest point since women started entering it thirty years ago, USA Today reports:

Only 45.4% of Americans had jobs in 2010, the lowest rate since 1983 and down from a peak of 49.3% in 2000. Last year, just 66.8% of men had jobs, the lowest on record.


The bad economy, an aging population and a plateau in women working are contributing to changes that pose serious challenges for financing the nation's social programs.

"What's wrong with the economy may be speeding up trends that are already happening," says Marc Goldwein, policy director of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a non-partisan group favoring smaller deficits.

Because the number of jobs available have dwindled, the report says, the number of older adults who are unemployed -- and reliant on Social Security -- has increased. Meanwhile, while the population of non-working children has grown to 3 million since 2000, the number of non-working adults has grown to a whopping 27 million. And as the population greys and employment opportunities are whittled away, it's getting increasingly expensive to support older adults.

Things to chew on as Congress dives into the budget debate, and the GOP continues calling for jobs, but not offering any means to create them. Read the full piece here.

AlterNet / By Julianne Escobedo Shepherd

Posted at April 14, 2011, 7:41am

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