Even if the US Labor Department has determined that the unemployment level has finally plateaued after months of staggering jobs statistics, the truth behind the numbers isn’t all that nice. Only four out of every ten adults in the US is employed.
While the percentage of Americans filing jobless benefit claims isn’t what it was during an unemployment epidemic that ravaged the country throughout the majority of US President Barack Obama’s administration, the Labor Department’s numbers are largely inflated on account of how they determine what actually constitutes looking for work.
Officially, the unemployment rate in America for the month of September was only 7.8 percent, but that statistic stems from only the number of citizens who have been actively searching for a paycheck. In actuality, only around 5 percent of the adult population in the US is unemployed in the eyes of the government because they have been handing in applications during the four weeks before the Labor Department conducted their research. Additionally, another 3 percent are interested in work but haven’t actively engaged in a job hunting during that span, roughly creating an unemployment figure of just under 8 percent.
The real figures, however, reveal a much scarier statistic.
“The employment-to-population ratio is the best measure of labor market conditions and it currently shows that there has been almost no improvement whatsoever over the past three years,” Paul Ashworth, chief North American economist for Capital Economics, writes in a note to clients obtained by CNN. That figure, which accounts for the proportion of working Americans compared with the number of adults in the country, is a lot higher than 8 percent.
For now, 58.7 percent of American adults are working if the actual employment-population ratio is taken into consideration, leaving about 82 million, or almost 41 percent of people unemployed. Only 8 percent, however, are even interested in work, leaving 33 percent of Americans not only jobless — but in no desire for work.