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Why Are 36 Percent of Americans Not Looking for Work?


The amount of people unemployed and not looking for work in the United States — 90 million — is growing at unprecedented levels, according to recent NPR report.

looking for work 

(Photo Credit: Inf-Lite Teacher/Flickr)

Why is this? Well there are four main reasons and some of them are actually understandable.

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1. Retirement — Baby boomers got old, and even if the economy was on fire, many were likely going to enjoy their sunset years out of the office anyway. This group, more than any other, has inflated the people not looking for work percentage.

2. College — The poor economic climate has led many young adults to turn to school as opposed to the workforce. If students, aren’t actively looking for a job, they aren’t counted in the unemployment rate.

3. Taking care of the kids — Some families have made the calculation that having one parent stay at home with the kids is better than looking to join the workforce. This goes against the trend of the 1970s and ’80s, when mothers increasingly joined the workforce. Now moms and dads are staying home more often and not paying for childcare.

4. Throwing in the towel — This is the most disturbing group. About 2.5 million Americans have given up on looking for work. They tried, got discouraged and have given up.

Tell Us What You Think

How can people be encouraged to not give up and keep applying for jobs? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.

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Patrick Creaven
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