Jun 2, 2014

Nonworking America: Those not in the labor force up by 12,000,000 since recession ended, a growth rate of 15 percent while the overall population is up 4 percent.

After World War II the U.S. saw the birth of the biggest middle class the world has ever come to know. The birth of the baby boomers and prosperity for all seemed to be the new norm. Of course, part of this was brought on by the fact that Europe, Japan, and China were in ruins or in massive social upheaval and trying to gain a foothold in the new economy. Factory jobs for a small generation paid middle class wages. More importantly, jobs were plentiful and most required little in the way of a college education. Today, that is no longer the case. The world is hyper competitive and massive banks are largely in control of policy in many nations around the globe. In the U.S. since the recession ended in 2009 we have added 12,000,000 people to a category labeled as "not in the labor force." This is a 15 percent growth rate in this category while the overall population has increased 4 percent during this same period. Many Americans have dropped out of the labor force because they are unable to find work in this current economy and many younger Americans are simply enrolling in college athigher rates and with higher debt. We have a system that really does a poor job of measuring the economic well-being of most people. For example, GDP contracted in Q1 of 2014 yet somehow, the stock market continues to make new highs and those not in the labor force continue to expand.