BLS Employment-Population Ratio – 59.3%

The Employment-Population Ratio shows the percentage of people in the U.S. aged 16 and over who are technically employed. As one can see, we have made little progress since the collapse in 2008 and 2009.

Labor Force Statistics from the Current Population Survey

Series Id:           LNS12300000
Seasonally Adjusted
Series title:        (Seas) Employment-Population Ratio
Labor force status:  Employment-population ratio
Type of data:        Percent or rate
Age:                 16 years and over

Download:
Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
2005 62.4 62.4 62.4 62.7 62.8 62.7 62.8 62.9 62.8 62.8 62.7 62.8
2006 62.9 63.0 63.1 63.0 63.1 63.1 63.0 63.1 63.1 63.3 63.3 63.4
2007 63.3 63.3 63.3 63.0 63.0 63.0 62.9 62.7 62.9 62.7 62.9 62.7
2008 62.9 62.8 62.7 62.7 62.5 62.4 62.2 62.0 61.9 61.7 61.4 61.0
2009 60.6 60.3 59.9 59.8 59.6 59.4 59.3 59.1 58.7 58.5 58.6 58.3
2010 58.5 58.5 58.5 58.7 58.6 58.5 58.5 58.6 58.5 58.3 58.2 58.3
2011 58.3 58.4 58.4 58.4 58.4 58.2 58.2 58.3 58.4 58.4 58.6 58.6
2012 58.5 58.5 58.6 58.5 58.5 58.6 58.5 58.4 58.6 58.8 58.7 58.6
2013 58.6 58.6 58.5 58.6 58.6 58.7 58.7 58.7 58.6 58.2 58.6 58.6
2014 58.8 58.8 59.0 58.9 58.9 59.0 59.0 59.0 59.0 59.2 59.2 59.2
2015 59.3 59.3 59.3 59.3 59.4 59.3 59.3 59.4 59.2 59.3 59.3
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2 Comments

  1. Only about a 5% drop from the boom to the bust? Th real shocking thing is about 40% of our working age population has not been working for the entire length of that graph. That’s 140 million people!? That’s double the population of the UK and about 4 times the population of Canada!

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    Reply
    • Our peak percentage in the employed-population ratio was about 65% in 2000, a figure that had steadily risen since World War II because of increased numbers of women in the workforce. A good chunk of the percentage from any given time includes retired people, housewives, and others who aren’t working for legitimate reasons.

      Still, we do have a growing number of able-bodied people who live off of various handouts. I’m not sure what percentage of the unemployed these people are, but they surely account for a large portion of that 4-5% drop since our official unemployment numbers have dropped back down to almost pre-Great-Recession levels.

      So I guess I’m saying that our freeloaders aren’t as numerous as they might seem, though those who get EBT or free college or other government handouts, even if they are technically employed, amount to well over half of the population.

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      Reply

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