Fewer Americans Are Working Than Any Time Since 1983

One of the most depressing statistics in the depressing June jobs report was another decrease in the employment-to-population ratio.

This ratio, which shows the percentage of American adults (16 and older) who are working, dropped again, to 58.2%.

This is the lowest level since 1983.

Here’s a chart that shows the long-term employment-to-population trend, which has now been updated for the lousy June number.

(The big surge after 1970, by the way, was the result of more women entering the workforce, so this isn’t a case of our just reverting to the 1980s mean.)

Employment To Population Ratio July 2011

Photo: St Louis Fed

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