AS US Workforce Shrinks, Disability Claims Skyrocket!

AS US Workforce Shrinks, Disability Claims Skyrocket!


April 9, 20137:37 PM MST

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Will this economic malaise ever end, Americans are asking? As we enter the fifth year of what many pundits and economists are calling the Great Stagnation, the employment situation in the US seems to be getting progressively worse.


The March jobs report contains very little good news. Only 88,000 jobs were created, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. And the April 8th Wall Street Journal reported that

last month almost as many people, just around 81,000, went on disability programs as landed a job. Now, 5.4% of the civilian workforce ages 25 to 64, close to 9 million people, are receiving federal disability benefits.




To make matters worse, in March of this year 496,000 Americansbecame so discouraged by their job prospects that they gave up their search for employment and dropped out of the workforce entirely.




According to the Federal Reserve's calculations, almost 90 million working-age Americans are unemployed, out of a total US population of around 315 million.




The most disturbing aspect of the evolving US employment picture is that over the course of more than a decade there has been little growth in the number of full-time workers. These are the citizens the country depends on to pay the taxes and contribute to Social Security, Medicare, and a host of other "safety net" programs. Only about 115 million Americans have full-time jobs, up only slightly since 2001.




As the population approaches 400 million people over the next few decades, expect the number of full-time workers to remain constant, or even shrink a bit. American companies have shown little inclination to engage in large-scale hiring of US workers any time soon. If anything, as a result of growing government regulations and laws such as Obamacare, small and large businesses are shying away from hiring full-time workers. When US companies do hire new workers, they tend to hire part-timers and temporary contract workers.




And mass layoffs continue. United Technologies, on paper a highly profitable company that employs many highly-skilled engineers and scientists, laid off 4000 workers in 2012 and plans to cut another 3000 in 2013.




As I have pointed out in numerous articles and books, America has at its disposal the resources to end this economic malaise and move forward to a prosperous new era. We can revitalize our industrial base, develop our energy resources, and reinvent our space program. However, we have to consciously dedicate our fiscal, monetary, and regulatory policies to the achievement of these goals.




At present, the US is moving in the wrong direction. The time to change is now!





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