Nearly 102 Million Americans Do Not Have A Job Right Now – Worse Than At Any Point During The Last Recession

by | May 3, 2019 | Headline News | 53 comments

Do you LOVE America?


    This article was originally published by Michael Snyder at The Economic Collapse Blog.

    Wouldn’t it be horrible if the number of Americans without a job was higher today than it was during the Great Recession of 2008 and 2009?  Well, that is actually true.  As you will see below, nearly 102 million Americans do not have a job right now, and at no point during the last recession did that number ever surpass the 100 million mark.  Of course, the U.S. population has grown a bit over the last decade, but as you will see below, the percentage of the population that is engaged in the labor force is only slightly above the depressingly low levels from the last recession.  Sadly, the truth is that the rosy employment statistics that you are getting from the mainstream media are manufactured using smoke and mirrors, and by the time you are done reading this article you will understand what is really going on.

    Before we dig into the long-term trends, let’s talk about what we just learned.

    According to CNBC, initial claims for unemployment benefits just rose by the most that we have seen in 19 months

    Initial claims for state unemployment benefits jumped 37,000 to a seasonally adjusted 230,000 for the week ended April 20, the Labor Department said on Thursday. The increase was the largest since early September 2017.

    And considering all of the other troubling economic signs that we have been witnessing lately, this makes perfect sense.

    In addition, we need to remember that over the last decade lawmakers across the country have made it more difficult to apply for unemployment benefits and have reduced the amount of time that unemployed workers can receive them.  In reality, the unemployment situation in this nation is far worse than the mainstream media is telling us.

    When a working-age American does not have a job, the federal number crunchers put them into one of two different categories.  Either they are categorized as “unemployed” or they are categorized as “not in the labor force”.

    But you have to add both of those categories together to get the total number of Americans that are not working.

    Over the last decade, the number of Americans that are in the “unemployed” category has been steadily going down, but the number of Americans “not in the labor force” has been rapidly going up.

    In both cases we are talking about Americans that do not have a job.  It is just a matter of how the federal government chooses to categorize those individuals.

    At this moment, we are told that only 6.2 million Americans are officially “unemployed”, and that sounds really, really good.

    But that is only half the story.

    What the mainstream media rarely mentions is the fact that the number of Americans categorized as “not in the labor force” has absolutely exploded since the last recession.  Right now, that number is sitting at 95.577 million.

    When you add 6.2 million “officially unemployed” Americans to 95.577 million Americans that are categorized as “not in the labor force”, you get a grand total of almost 102 million Americans that do not have a job right now.

    If that sounds terrible to you, that is because it is terrible.

    Yes, the U.S. population has been growing over the last decade, and that is part of the reason why the number of Americans “not in the labor force” has been growing.

    But overall, the truth is that the level of unemployment in this country is not that much different than it was during the last recession.

    John Williams of tracks what the real employment figure would be if honest numbers were being used, and according to him the real rate of unemployment in the United States at the moment is 21.2 percent.

    That is down from where it was a few years ago, but not by that much.

    Another “honest” indicator that I like to look at is the civilian labor force participation rate.

    In essence, it tells us what percentage of the working-age population is actually engaged in the labor force.

    Just before the last recession, the civilian labor force participation rate was sitting at about 66 percent, and that was pretty good.

    But then the recession hit, and the civilian labor force participation rate fell below 63 percent, and it stayed between 62 percent and 63 percent for an extended period of time.

    So where are we today?

    At this moment, we are sitting at just 63.0 percent.

    Does that look like a recovery to you?

    Of course not.

    If you would like to claim that we have had a very marginal “employment recovery” since the last recession, that is a legitimate argument to make.  But anything beyond that is simply not being honest.

    And now the U.S. economy is rapidly slowing down again, and most Americans are completely and totally unprepared for what is ahead.

    The good news is that employment levels have been fairly stable in recent years, but the bad news is that unemployment claims are starting to shoot up again.

    A number of experts that I am hearing from expect job losses to escalate in the months ahead.  Many of those that are currently living on the edge financially suddenly won’t be able to pay their mortgages or their bills.

    Just like the last recession, we could potentially see millions of middle-class Americans quickly lose everything once economic conditions start getting really bad.

    The economy is not going to get any better than it is right now.  As you look forward to the second half of 2019, I would make plans for rough sailing ahead.

    The first book by Michael T. Snyder, the publisher of The Economic Collapse Blog, is called The Beginning of the End. If you want to know what things in America are going to look like in a few years, you need to read this book. The Beginning of the End is a mystery/thriller set in the United States in the near future. It is a time of the unprecedented economic collapse, deep political corruption, accelerating social decay, out of control rioting in the cities and great natural disasters.




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      1. I don’t think that someone was employed, gainfully, while under debt, nor that prices were subject to a free market.

        There are too many people, who don’t own anything. They have nothing to pay, but with rich-guy chips on their shoulders.

        You’re cheering those guys on, for being ‘participators’.

        • Do these figures include the scum illegal population?

          • Besides showing which demographics got the most favorable employment, also show whether they or their families were institutionalized, at any point.

            My best guess is that there is lots of money and crucial resources, speaking of scum.

          • Here is the Govn’ts SCAM. When they calculate income tax, they consider your labor is free. So any income on a job is considered income and taxable. They fail to take into count your labor has value. So after a job what you were paid is justba fair exchange and therefore there was no profit. We are Social Security numbered and tatooed Tax Slaves. Stop feeding the beast.

        • Millinials refuse to work. Too busy staring at their cell phones. So lets see the age demographics breakdown of this suspected unemployment figure. These youngins will Let America slip into total anarcgy and tyranny 20 years from now. No 1st or 2nd silly amendmemts left to argue over. Your facebook limes will determine how much free soeech you get with your social score. We are screwed within 20 years when the boomers die off.

          • It is coming way, way, way sooner than that, come on.

      2. I know several trades and have more work than I can handle, and people calling almost everyday. Because I actually care about my customers, take pride in my work and go the extra mile to make their homes look as good as possible. But it was brutal in 2008, nobody in Arizona was working so I went to Colorado for 4 years to work/survive.On the way there I saw several family’s, nicely dressed even, walking down the highway dragging suitcases looking bewildered.Sad, and a reminder it could all collapse someday and never go back to normalcy. If the economy collapses again I’ll stay in AZ and live deep in the mountains and ride it out away from the hordes.

        • I believe it could easily happen and be way worse than anything this damn sinking ship of a country has ever seen it its history. This nation will FAIL, there are no 2 ways about it.

      3. … and today’s headline: Unemployment @ 49 Year Low.

        It has gotten to the point that absolutely nothing that Snyder writes is the truth. I already knew not to waste my time on reading Slavo tripe. Now he has confirmed company.

        • I believe he is saying that the way the government figures the figures is disingenuous. They don’t count people that are unemployed yet are not looking for work. They count people as employed if they only work a couple three hours a week. They distort the statistics to their advantage. And every administration has done this for decades. It is dishonest and self serving.

          Example: Employment at 49 year low. The figures seem to be manipulated so that they can reflect that headline. They laid out the results they would like and then they fiddled with the formula until they got those results. The formula was changed years ago because the one they were using at the time would not give positive results any longer. It has also been done to the CPI where they now allow hedonic adjustments…if the computing power of your device goes up, they subtract that from CPI. If the price of steak gets too high, they substitute hamburger. They want results that shine favorably on those in charge.

          I think Mr Snyder is telling the truth. It’s just old news.

        • Go to for some eye opening numbers.
          Trump is using the same manipulations as Obama.
          3.4% unemployment is FAR from the truth.
          Snyder is not exaggerating……. by any means.
          The long-term unemployed are not counted.
          People who’s benefits ran out are no longer counted.
          Part-time jobs are counted as jobs created. Lots of p/t jobs.
          There are the official numbers and then the real numbers.
          That’s not a swipe at Trump. I give him a lot of credit for his work.

        • Stuart, I agree completely. Anymore, I just read the headline and click directly on the Readers’ Comments. These are always the best part of the article.

      4. CONTEXT. Come-on Michael Snyder. This era of retirees living longer (not working), welfare & other entitlement provided to anyone (regardless of whether it is a scam), medical breakthroughs that keep folks alive (retarded, impaired, insane; doesn’t matter). You know this is comparing Apples versus Oranges.

        I’m surprised the ratio of WORKERS to non-workers isn’t even worse than reported. In the old days we didn’t have so darn many people riding in the wagon, more of us had to pull.

      5. Educate yourself on how the unemployment rate is calculated before making a statement like that. Also look at labor force participation rate. After 2008 a lot of people were educating themselves on economic issues and were gaining an understanding of what was going on. NOW, we’ve hit rock bottom again!

      6. You don’t know who to believe anymore.

        • Know what scares me? Trump and FL Gov and many others are going to Israehell for more Z-I-o-ni-st Indoctranation. Paying hommaged to those wanting to destroy us. Americas truely biggest threat.

      7. And Hispanic unemployment is at an all time low. And 263,000 jobs were added in April.

      8. And who are they calling Americans?

      9. Typical government twisting of facts to suit, I work for the UK’s Office for National statistics and we do the same. Take the ‘happy nation’ question we ask for example, first we ask: how happy were you yesterday? then straight after we ask: how anxious were you yesterday?. Now most people will say they felt happy then forget how anxious they actually were, hence a happy nation, not an anxious one.

      10. Like others here, I too read today’s report on unemployment being at a record low. And it’s all Trump’s administration’s efforts as the reason. Read up on U3 vs. U6 (the latter apx. double the first) making it around 3.6% and 7.2% respectively. Then on to Shadowstats claim of somewhere north of 21.1%. Reminds me of the saying that “figures can’t lie; but, liars can figure”. All I can do is look about here in my own area. I see an increase in homelessness, panhandlers, drug addicts and work-capable people sure as all not working today. An awful lot of part-time employment vs. full as well. Then last, so many jobs in construction and other labor services being done by illegals….. all I know is what I see. What we are given as truths in the math of it all are lies.

      11. Let me see,
        I’m one of those un-employed. I basically quit working in
        2010, I put in nearly 40 some years into Social security and Medicare. I looked for regular work to pay for my wifes medical after Obama fu cked her medical up, but found that at my age, they aren’t interested in full time hiring, besides I don’t want to move to the mid-west of America to design flightworthy power supplies(one of my specialties). I looked into teaching. With my background, I could knock that one out of the park. But when I looked at what they pay and the liberal a$$es I’d have to deal with, that instantly became a no-go, I’d earn more money sitting on my butt drinking beer and making comments on articles written by whomever.
        So I’m classified as one of the un-counted, un-employed. My pensions are well funded, over 100% in 2017 about 97% in 2018. I pay income taxes and I haven’t even started to collect my Social security yet.
        People like me don’t get counted, but I know that many of us exist. We prepare and I know we don’t like Democrats stealing stuff from us, our kids, our grand kids, nephews, nieces, great nephews and nieces, my extended family, and on and on.
        Moral of my story, is don’t believe the doom and gloom, but also know it if the government or the MSM is the source, of information, they are lying, until proven otherwise.

      12. didnt even have to read the article just who it was by….. Michael Snyder aka Mr. DOOOM AND GLOOM. Anyone else getting tired of this?

      13. Americans are like a herd of deer standing around while a tiger creeps up silently and then picks off the most vulnerable deer in the herd.

        Instead of the other deer attacking the tiger, all the deer do is scatter, saving themselves until the next time, when the tiger takes them.


      14. This is not my perspective on unemployment. I run a small business and cant get help for lower end jobs such as grass cutting and minor house repairs such as painting ect. 5-6 years ago I could run an ad in the local paper and have the phone ringing off the hook with applicants. I have had an ad in the local paper now for 2 weeks and have had 3 calls and told all of them to come in and none have showed up. Not sure what I am going to do with this situation. When millions ( mainly of one race) are being paid not to work they are not going to work. So that only leaves the spanish speaking illegals but they are not applying either. Every spanish illegal has many jobs available . I am very disgusted and may have to close my business over this problem. KF

      15. If you have a minimum wage by law you need a maximum wage by law. This would be fair.

        • I charge what the market will bear. Depending on the job 25-50 per hour. I get no complaints. I am worth it, if someone is only worth 5 an hour then thats what they get.

          • genius, I hear you. I charge $60/hr. for my primary trade – marine electronics, and $30/hr. for my secondary – IT. And I’m low-balling in my area in both venues, being told so constantly by my customers when they get the bill that it is too low. It’s not unusual at all to be tipped/over-paid. One basic rule I follow is absolutely no mobile device (phone, tablet….) whatsoever on any job. I’m literally “their’s” when I’m at work. @ 50 cents to a dollar a minute, ethics alone keeps me honest. And that’s the problem with so many who are not self-employed. They get their paychecks regardless of the actual time they spend per week working. Regular as clock-work. No incentive to do good work or not fudge the hours. So, like you said, people get what they pay for…. or do they? From honest men, yes. But is the working populace honest today? …..????

            • Heartless, exactly! I am as honest as can be and do not BS around while on the clock. Most people have looked into contractor prices (solar) and I beat their ass hands down. I have even had arguements over the phone with contractors and equipment sellers and left them speechless because I was always right and they were full of shit! That goes a long way in my credibility with people and the fact that I have a 100% satisfaction rate. I could charge more but it is tax free on the side and it attracts more people. Consultation is 25 real work is 50. As I said… no complaints 🙂

              • solar? You and I could talk. I’ve sold and installed quite a few such systems on ocean-going/long voyage yachts. Multi-input systems as well (in addition to solar.. wind and on-board gensets and/or DC voltage off the main engines). One common use for long/trans-oceanic hauls is an RO (reverse osmosis) system for fresh-water supply while underway. That’s a heavy load during tank replenishment. Sure’d be nice to have an expert locally like you to sit and take notes with. (west coast Florida south of Tampa Bay) First question (and don’t shoot me!!) is your opinion of Harbor Freight panels. I’ve found the charge controllers to be shoddily made and prone to failure. End up using Kyocera or some other name brand. Opinion/experience comments would be quite welcome.

      16. Bill Clinton changed the way the number of unemployed are determined. But every President after him continued to use the formula that Bill came up with. Including Republican Presidents. If you came out of school and couldn’t get a job, you weren’t considered unemployed. If you were unemployed and your benefits ran out, you weren’t considered unemployed. If you stopped looking for a job, you weren’t considered unemployed. And that method is still used today. Government magic numbers. Wheee! Also, years ago when we had a smaller population, it was determined that the country had to produce 300,000 new jobs every month, just to keep the employment numbers at the same level. Now we have a much larger population and when we get 150,000 new jobs the government tells us how great that is. But, using the old formula, this means that we are having an additional 150,000 new unemployed every month when we don’t have at least 300,000 new jobs per month. And it’s actually even worse. We need about 400,000 new jobs per month to stay even.

        • Him,
          I’ve hinted at this for years. People are generally stupid and a pain in the a$$ to have work for you, so the trend to automation. Society has yet to figure out how to deal with the non-working, but continuously consuming class in the world.

      17. Snyder strikes again!

      18. No one despised former Chimp-in-Chief Obama than me, but I credit him with getting the economic engine started post-recession and before his term was up. So I wholeheartedly agree with the economist who said, about President Trump, “I don’t see how you come into the game with 10 minutes left in the fourth quarter, your team is already ahead, and you’re like, ‘I won this game’.”

      19. A lot of things are going pretty well actually. Better than Obammy. If HRC was pres we’d be US of Mexico queer nation by now.

      20. In central MD there are good jobs available everywhere. Every contractor is looking for help, and willing to pay good wages for it. The same goes for auto body shops, auto repair shops, and pretty much any brick-and-mortar site with any kind of service industry business. There are 4 auto body shops all within the same 1-mile strip looking for people to do auto body work, all offering $20 and up per hour, and they will train a new employee. One of them is offering a $5K signing bonus. None of them has had a single applicant respond. Every illegal alien in the area is working, most of them for under-the-table cash, and yet every landscape, construction, home improvement, roofing, and other companies cannot find enough reliable help. To be continued….

      21. ….comment continued….
        The problem is that no one wants to work for a living. Much of the available “labor pool” consists of 18 to 40 year olds who are drug addicts, professional unemployment / workman’s comp collectors, or liars who have lied their way into collecting some sort of disability payment. Many of them are literally too stupid to train in even the simplest of tasks, and they don’t even show up to work reliably. Everyone needs drivers, and many could get a decent job just because they have a driver’s license, but no one wants to do that either. There are plenty of jobs. It is just too easy to get paid to stay home and smoke dope instead of work.

      22. But the stupid legal citizen working American taxpayer gives the bums money to live, so they don’t count.

        We’re coming up on one trillion dollars annual taxpayer cost to care for medical problems caused by obesity on those that have no insurance. Betcha that amount will double every five years for the foreseeable future. But that wouldn’t be a story when the headlines are 98 people caught the measles out of 330 million, and ‘he’ calls that an epidemic.

      23. Idiotic article. Get your facts straight. 1930 Census Number: 122,775,046. There was no welfare then that today encourages indolence. Most unemployed WANT TO BE UNEMPLOYED.

      24. I am unemployed and am a US citizen last time I checked my passport. In my case it is called retired and there are quite a number of us as the baby boomers retired. Someone forget that?

        And in my area families are doing well enough that mommas are actually staying at home raising the children. Heaven forbid such a blasphemy against feminism ever happen.

      25. ??⭐️⭐️?? Luke17:28 Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded;
        An economic collapse prior to the great tribulation is inconsistent with the Ancient Hebrew Scriptures. The economic collapse already happened from 2008-2017. We are now in a righteous recovery. Catch up with me on YouTube. Editorials
        Click here

      26. Government deficit spending helps to keep employment figures up in the short run. The demand for some products depend on the purchasers being willing and able to incur debt. If anything prevents that, the result will be increased unemployment. This could happen very easily.

      27. VOLUNTEER at the MEXICAN BORDER to stop the filthy brown flood to GET YOU JOBS BACK and raise wages NOW,take everything you need and people to watch your 6.

      28. VOLUNTEER now at the MEXICAN BORDER !!!!
        get your jobs back and a pay raise.

      29. How many people are not looking for A job, are they counting early retirees as unemployed, how many people are working in the underground economy. Can we really trust gov. produced numbers on anything?

      30. Sorry, bud… your favorite boogie man didn’t do anything to the numbers. The commissioner of the BLS when the survey was redesigned was appointed by Bush Sr. and she served two four year terms. She now is co-chair of the Bipartisan Policy Center. It’s okay, you can let it go.

      31. Anyone who is ready willing and able can find a job in the USA today. The PECO chicken processing plant at Shannon Ark. needs a additional 1600 workers. Pay starts at $15 per hour. Folks are lazy and the college degreed dumbasses think they are too good to work at a production job.

        • Old Guy, I think the problem is that they can’t repay their student loans working minimum wage. And at the same time pay other bills, afford transportation and buy food. Once they miss a few payments and go into default the phone calls start all day everyday, and the collectors (from what I’ve been told) also call relatives even if they have your contact # and are able to reach you.

      32. Soon, there will be no consumers, because unemployed people don’t buy much. Sure, robots are cheaper to run, but why run them, when no one can afford the products they make. This is the stuff revolutions are made of.

      33. Most Millennial’s act like self entitled narcissist’s. This Country is going to be hurting much more than what we are reading and hearing very soon!

      34. I don’t think any advanced society can survive when they have over 100 MILLION Unemployed people. WTF? No wonder this country is failing and falling apart!

      35. I’m betting these figures include our illegal alien population. Since it’s illegal to ASK them what their status is and their number keeps on growing, that would make sense in this scenario.

      36. When you consider one third of the population is over the age of 65 and that one third of the population is typically under the age of 22…..duh. Going to school and retired. Do people even think anymore? What troubles me more is the fact that those whose sole income is derived from the taxation of others ie: teachers, local city, county, state, federal “employees”. These are the servants of todays “necessary” class and are responsible for the greatest burden on private sector working families. This is of course not even adding in the one sixth of americans who are on some sort of assistance to survive. Here’s a thought. How about those who receive this kind of “help” not be allowed to vote since it becomes an issue of “conflict of interest” until they sustain themselves without a forced charity called taxes?

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