According to a recent survey, 20% of American families were jobless in 2017. This might come as a surprise with the unemployment rate at a 17 year low.
The data in the survey factored in the people who were unemployed, available for work at the time of the government survey and had recently attempted to find a job. The total amount of families who fell into the basket of “no employment” totaled 16 million or 19.5% of all families versus 16.1 million or 19.6% in 2016.
But as the obscure unemployment metrics continue to show artificial strength, it’s worth noting that fewer people on a percentage basis in every age group except 55+ are working more than they did then in 2000. The majority of these people are not considered “unemployed” even if they’re on the hunt to find a job. For the BLS to even count these people as “unemployed”, they must apply for a job or send out a resume.
As Zerohedge has consistently pointed out throughout the last couple of years, millions of working age men (age 25-to 54) will never return to the labor market as the participation rate has been steadily declining since the 1960s. In 1996, 4.6 million working-age men sat on the sidelines of the labor market, fast forward to 2016 and the number rose to 7.1 million.
The former Fed Chairman Janet Yellen even said the employment rate can be a “misleading indicator” because of the number of people quitting the workforce altogether.
“Some of the decline in labor force participation might reflect a weak economy and be a kind of hidden unemployment” – Janet Yellen
Clearly, with the recent survey that is quite accurate.