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    joypulv's Avatar
    joypulv Posts: 21,593, Reputation: 2941
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    #1

    Oct 13, 2014, 06:41 PM
    What are unemployed Americans doing? Are there really 90 million 'out of work?'
    I've been wondering for months and not finding answers easily in any gov't databases, so I worked on a list of my own. I did guess about stay at home moms and college students who do/don't work. I started with US Census stats because BLS has an unusual way of deciding who is in the employment picture, and BLS does say 90 mil 'not in labor force,' which isn't very helpful when people ask what they are doing.
    Comments appreciated.
    197,868,000 AGES 18-64
    -151,450,000 WORKING AGES 18-64 (BASED ON 146,500,000 BLS, + 2,800,000 FEDERAL WORKERS INCL USPS, 1,400,000 MILITARY, AND 750,000 FARMWORKERS) 33 MIL OF TOTAL PART TIME
    +10,400,000 WORKING AGES 16-17 (4.5 MIL) AND 65+ (5.9 MIL)
    ______________
    56,818,000 AGES 18-64 TO BE EXPLAINED!

    -11,203,000 GETTING UNEMPLOYMENT
    -2,400,000 IN PRISON
    -14,190,000 UNDER 65 GETTING SSI (4,949,000), SSDI (8,943,000), DISABLED WIDOW(ers)S SS (258,000)

    -11,000,000 IN COLLEGE NOT WORKING, (GUESS based on 19.5mil in college/grad school)
    -16,000,000 AT-HOME SUPPORTED MOMS, (GUESS based on 42.3MIL women 18-34, 22.87MIL working, 20.5 MIL kids <9)
    -2,100,000 GUESS : CRIMINALS, UNDECLARED CASH, LIVING OFF OTHERS, HOMELESS NO INCOME

    So that's my numbers, some estimated, but based on real research.
    BLS counts all 'not in labor force' who are between 16 and death, so it was hard to get real meaning out of the 90 million. Their 'labor force' is anyone 16+ who has ever worked, isn't in an institution, isn't a federal employee, or in the military, so it's quite a bit smaller than the Census.
    smoothy's Avatar
    smoothy Posts: 25,495, Reputation: 2853
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    #2

    Oct 13, 2014, 07:45 PM
    They are sitting on their butts. Collecting welfare, food stamps and other handouts... many of them are now in 1 income households when they used to be two income households. They are the people the bean counters ignore exist when quoting Unemployment rates. They however ARE counted in the U-6 rate that's almost double.

    THe so-called unemployment statistics the White house touts around are only those actually qualified and collecting benefits... not the contractors that can't get work, not the self employed that had businesses that closed up, and not those who have exhausted their benefits... and not the recent graduates of both high school and college that can't find a first job and aren't qualified for benefits because they have no work history to draw from. Or the people let go by shady employers that fight tooth and nail to deny qualified people from getting benefits they earned (yes I know people that fit that description too).
    joypulv's Avatar
    joypulv Posts: 21,593, Reputation: 2941
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    #3

    Oct 14, 2014, 04:23 AM
    So you and many say, and so it appears when we look around... but I'm waiting for someone to actually prove it. You will find out that it isn't easy.

    Because I AGREE with your second paragraph, I started with Census numbers rather than BLS numbers. Not sure you actually read what I wrote.
    smoothy's Avatar
    smoothy Posts: 25,495, Reputation: 2853
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    #4

    Oct 14, 2014, 07:33 AM
    I'll have to look something up as soon as I get time.
    Catsmine's Avatar
    Catsmine Posts: 3,827, Reputation: 739
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    #5

    Oct 14, 2014, 11:55 AM
    Here's part of the answer. Lot's of people are working for cash.

    http://www.kabc.com/common/page.php?...1654&is_corp=0
    joypulv's Avatar
    joypulv Posts: 21,593, Reputation: 2941
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    #6

    Oct 14, 2014, 01:04 PM
    Yes, I worked under the table a lot (and hence have a very low retirement check).
    Where I live in rural New England, it's still pretty common to find people with 2, 3, or more little businesses or jobs on or off the books, many seasonal.

    The BLS stat for 146.5 mil employed includes 15 mil self-employed (on the books of course) and 27.36 mil part timers. They do surveys on which are part time by choice or not, and actually the bulk are by choice, such as women with small children.

    What I'm trying to find out are real numbers for what is called 'welfare dependent,' because so many people insist that we are riddled with them. Welfare dependent is defined as over 50% dependent on gov't assistance that is means tested, and that means that it wasn't earned, the way Social Security is (TANF, SNAP, and SSI). And I'm getting rates like 4.6% of the population! But I'm only interested in ages 18-64, which is currently 62% of the total. Plus it's data only as recent as 2009.

    Yes, sadly, young single mothers do seem to be the most dependent on welfare, but the good news is that the number of births is steadily going down.
    ma0641's Avatar
    ma0641 Posts: 15,681, Reputation: 1012
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    #7

    Oct 14, 2014, 06:39 PM
    If you check around your local "retiree" markets, you will find out that there are probably thousands working on a cash basis. I won't name names but some of us(disregard that statement the Judge said), retired for many years, can easily pull in $500-800 CASH per working week "helping out" people who need minor fix it work.
    joypulv's Avatar
    joypulv Posts: 21,593, Reputation: 2941
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    #8

    Oct 16, 2014, 02:36 AM
    Well shoot, I put a lot of work into this, but I guess I'm the only one who actually wants to know how the whole bleeping 319,000,000 population breaks down.
    smoothy's Avatar
    smoothy Posts: 25,495, Reputation: 2853
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    #9

    Oct 16, 2014, 05:15 AM
    I've been swamped with a lot of things to deal with and haven't had time to dig around (yes I've been lucky to have 20 minutes to sit back and clear my head at a stretch). I wasn't just blowing it off.
    joypulv's Avatar
    joypulv Posts: 21,593, Reputation: 2941
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    #10

    Oct 16, 2014, 10:55 AM
    I started and gave up countless times over months, and finally buckled down the other day, getting completely exhausted and frustrated, so I guess I shouldn't expect anyone else to try. I thought someone might be able to think of a 'group' I had left out. Grey market was included in 'undeclared cash.' Maybe that group is a lot bigger.
    Catsmine's Avatar
    Catsmine Posts: 3,827, Reputation: 739
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    #11

    Oct 16, 2014, 05:01 PM
    Then there's all those farmers who've been working for decades to supply Colorado. America&#39;s Biggest Cash Crop: Marijuana Business - Page 2 - MainStreet
    joypulv's Avatar
    joypulv Posts: 21,593, Reputation: 2941
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    #12

    Oct 16, 2014, 05:09 PM
    Self employed farmers are included in all self employed (15 mil), under 'working.'
    smoothy's Avatar
    smoothy Posts: 25,495, Reputation: 2853
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    #13

    Oct 16, 2014, 07:34 PM
    Yes.. but if they lose the family farm on a tax sale... they aren't counted as unemployed. Not in anything but the U-6 number anyway. Because they aren't qualified to collect benifits being self employed.
    joypulv's Avatar
    joypulv Posts: 21,593, Reputation: 2941
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    #14

    Oct 17, 2014, 07:51 AM
    Smoothy, thanks for the U6. I am not sure I see where someone who loses his business is even counted. I was self employed and didn't 'notify' anyone, not even the IRS, when I stopped. I just stopped filing.


    Later: I guess I found it in another BLS table - sort of. A footnote under 'Industry' where agriculture is included:

    "Industry data refer to wage and salary workers. Persons who were unpaid family workers or self-employed, unincorporated, on their last job are included in the unemployed total, but not shown separately."
    smoothy's Avatar
    smoothy Posts: 25,495, Reputation: 2853
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    #15

    Oct 17, 2014, 08:26 AM
    They aren't counted in the always manipulated unemployment rates... just like contractors. The assumption is they are responsible for their own employment... and if they become unemployed its by their own choice. Which many of us know really isn't always true... but apparently some bad apples laid themselves off to collect a paid vacation then later returned to work. Otherwise being self employed... ANY time off is unpaid.

    Don't know if that's true or not... if it happened, it was probably long before I was born, but I can see an easy way to scam the system if it ever was allowed.

    They aren't counted in the usually touted unemployment rate (which is purely people actually collecting benefits, which exclude everyone that isn't by exhausting them, didn't qualify for any reason like fired for misconduct or quit, or was never qualified by reason of self employment).

    They are part of the U6 rate that excludes few if any groups from that number.
    joypulv's Avatar
    joypulv Posts: 21,593, Reputation: 2941
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    #16

    Oct 17, 2014, 09:34 AM
    And the usually touted unemployment rate seems to be the white one. I noticed this last week - 5.1% was plastered all over TV and the internet. That's the white rate! I forget what the actual (if we allow for that word here) rate is just now, but I think it's 5.9%. You have to scroll down the table to get white only.

    Sometimes I am in favor of boosting the psychological factor this way (and it seems to work on the people as a whole), but most of the time it just leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
    smoothy's Avatar
    smoothy Posts: 25,495, Reputation: 2853
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    #17

    Oct 17, 2014, 10:16 AM
    They continue to do it because a majority of the people still are as clueless as the average rock (but people are slowly becoming more informed). And blindly believe anything they are told.
    joypulv's Avatar
    joypulv Posts: 21,593, Reputation: 2941
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    #18

    Oct 17, 2014, 11:24 AM
    Meanwhile, I still don't know how many are actually 'sitting on their butts, collecting welfare,' because so many of the ones considered 'welfare dependent' are children and the elderly.

    If I add all working, subtract working < 18 and > 64, add all federal, military, and farm, add prisoners, guess at and add all college not working (12/20) and stay at home non welfare moms (14/32), I get an accounted for population between 18 and 64 of just under 90%.

    10% of the population between 18 and 64 is 19,780,000.

    I think that's everyone sitting - including 11 million getting UI. 8 million welfare dependent? 780,000 getting nothing...
    J_9's Avatar
    J_9 Posts: 40,271, Reputation: 5643
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    #19

    Oct 17, 2014, 11:31 AM
    Virtually every pregnant patient I have is jobless and on welfare. Some of them actually have more babies to get bigger checks and more food stamps. You would be very surprised and shocked Joy.

    Virtually every pregnant patient I have is jobless and on welfare. Some of them actually have more babies to get bigger checks and more food stamps. You would be very surprised and shocked Joy.
    Catsmine's Avatar
    Catsmine Posts: 3,827, Reputation: 739
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    #20

    Oct 17, 2014, 11:45 AM
    The American Bard, Mr. Clemmons, is quoted as saying "Figures don't lie, but liars figure." I find the Cowboy Philosopher, Mr. Rogers, more appropriate: "There's lies, damn lies, and statistics."

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