Labor Participation Lowest Since Carter Administration

This Labor Day marked three months of a 38-year record low labor participation rate.

CNS News reports, “Record 94,031,000 Americans Not in Labor Force; Participation Rate Stuck at 38-Year Low for 3rd Straight Month.”

A record 94,031,000 Americans were not in the American labor force last month — 261,000 more than July — and the labor force participation rate stayed stuck at 62.6 percent, a 38-year low, for a third straight month in August, the Labor Department reported on Friday, as the nation heads into the Labor Day weekend.

The number of Americans not in the labor force has continued to rise, partly because of retiring baby-boomers and fewer workers entering the workforce.

In August, according to BLS, the nation’s civilian noninstitutional population, consisting of all people 16 or older who were not in the military or an institution, reached 251,096,000. Of those, 157,065,000 participated in the labor force by either holding a job or actively seeking one.

The 157,065,000 who participated in the labor force equaled only 62.6 percent of the 251,096,000 civilian noninstitutional population — the same as it was in July and June. Not since October 1977, when the participation rate dropped to 62.4, has the percentage been this low.

It is true that part of the reason for the low labor participation rate are retiring baby boomers. However, while that element is not Barack Obama’s personal fault, it is still bad news for the economy. Fewer people who are working means that we have to go deeper into debt or raise taxes to support those without jobs. That is why Social Security is about to become extremely insecure.

Furthermore, it isn’t only retirees. We also have massive disability fraud. These and other issues are in the hands of the Obama White House.

In fact, comparing Obama to Jimmy Carter is a little bit unfair to Carter. Carter was in his first term. I don’t think anything he did helped the economy, but he was dealing also with the Nixon decision to get rid of the last of the Gold backing to the U.S. dollar and the consequences that cascaded from that decision during the Ford Administration. Barack Obama, however, is well into his second term, but has done nothing to turn the economy around. In fact, he has made it worse.