88 million out of work and not looking for a job

Number of the day

88 million

That’s how many working-age Americans don’t have a job and aren’t trying to find one anymore. The increase in people dropping out of the labor market altogether skews the otherwise-positive unemployment numbers released last week.

While the jobless rate fell to 8.3 percent in January – a three-year low – it doesn’t account for this army of nonworking Americans. The percentage of people participating in the labor market dropped to 63.7 percent last month, the lowest level since May 1983.

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