Real Unemployment 36%?

John Hayward published a fairly long article about unemployment and the number of Americans who aren’t currently working. It’s worth reading in its entirety, as he explains how the contraction in employment is actually helping President Obama. But here’s the alarming part:

What is the current percentage of working-age Americans, eligible to participate in the civilian labor force, but not currently working?  Answer: 36.3 percent.

That’s the worst labor participation rate in three decades, and it’s part of the worst employment picture we’ve seen since the Great Depression.  Labor force participation is the number we should really be looking at, even more than the unemployment figures cooked up on the monthly basis by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  Those figures have their uses as well, but it seems reasonable to measure the overall health of the economy by the number of people who simply are not participating in the labor force. (Read More)

Also see my earlier post on the topic.

Via Doug Ross