More Than 50 Percent Of Americans Don't Have Jobs: Infographic

Few figures are as obsessed over as the unemployment rate. Today, economists and pundits are falling over each other to dissect the meaning of May's slight uptick to 7.6 percent. But there are a lot of things that number doesn't tell us, like how many Americans aren't actually working. That number, it turns out, is closer to 55 percent.

Now, that's if you include every person in America, including babies. Cut out the under-16s, and you are still left with 34 percent of Americans who don't work at all. Who are they? What do they do all day? Check out the infographic below.

First, the caveats: The numbers are based on the population count from the 2010 Census, and data from as close to that time as possible, to keep it consistent. And the 8.8% unemployed? That's not the unemployment rate, which is the number of people who can't find work as a percentage of Americans in the labor force. This is the number of people who can't find work as a percentage of the Americans who aren't working. Sorry if that's a little tricky to digest; people don't often count the non-workers of America.

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Evan Johnson

I guess since I have been active duty military the past 13 years I have been unemployed. Seriously doesn't anyone review these articles before they are posted?

June 30 2015 at 11:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

As a retired active duty military member I absolutely am insulted that "Active Military" has been lumped in with the "not working". Trust me guys the military isn't out there playing poker and taking walks on the beach. And Jaden, the use of the word "Active" pretty much rules out your scenario as none of the groups you mention are still "Active Military". In fact many of them would be included in the "Disabled" group.

February 24 2014 at 4:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jaden jenette

Many people unemployed long term & unable to find work withdraw their pensions or apply for social security draining their cash assets.

November 07 2013 at 3:33 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jaden jenette

For those upset about military being included perhaps it refers to those who are not career but have completed a tour of duty & are returning to civilian life unable to find gainful employment in the civilian workforce. There are soldiers collecting disability for wounds received in combat who have no jobs. Can't believe some work so hard to be ignorant.

November 07 2013 at 3:28 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jaden jenette

I object to that photo. Many of the unemployed are downsized & written off seems the system is invested in keeping people out of work. Some long-term unemployed people have NOT given up looking for work they are simply not counted & become invisible. There exist people who have been out of a job for 5 to 10 years and they find work participating in the black market. There exists a hidden economy. Job centers & poverty programs aren't really invested in getting people back to work but rather keeping their jobs by keeping customers jobless & returning to their bogus services in order to keep their jobs & funding. IMO all of that garbage should be scrapped but the govt. is much too invested in keeping the poverty industry going. Which is why small enterprise skills aren't taught but rather customers are placed on an endless merry-go-round of seeking ghost jobs.

November 07 2013 at 3:04 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Darn those lazy bum military people, LOL. Everyone I know in the military works their tails off. This list leaves out the underground economy, drug dealers, sex workers and those off the books in one way or another. I would estimate those at about 10% of the total workforce.

November 03 2013 at 10:36 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Is miscellaneous 10.2 percent just a PC term for intergenerational welfare fraud?

November 03 2013 at 9:28 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Who the BLEEP decided the ACTIVE MILITARY are not working?? They PAY Social Security Taxes. HOW can they do THAT if they are not working?

September 25 2013 at 7:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to gkstemple's comment

I thought the exact same thing! WTF??

November 03 2013 at 10:28 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Yeah, the "Headline" Unemployment rate is a tad misleading. But the Bureau of Labor & Statistics wouldn't lie,
would they? I saw an MIT educated economist put the real rate at about 20%. That sounds about right to me. Hey, maybe we can outsource the Bureau itself! Wonder how well that'd work? Maybe we should put tariffs
on US companies that manufacturer their products overseas. That's what other countries do to protect native industry & jobs. Make "Made in America" mean something again & drop the tagline "from globally sourced parts."

August 16 2013 at 10:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

and how many of them could work but just want the free hand outs? scumbags!

June 12 2013 at 3:31 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

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