The percentage of Americans who have a job or are looking for one, known as the labor force participation rate (LFPR), has plunged to a 34-year low, according to a new report from staffing company Express Employment Professionals.
“Following the Great Recession, we’ve entered into the Great Shift,” says Express Employment Professionals CEO Bob Funk, who previously served as chairman of the Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank. “This is a period defined by the Boomer retirement, Millennial frustration, and growing reliance on government programs. All indicators suggest this shift is not sustainable.”
The New York Times reported on the study and suggested that “another cause [of the Great Shift] may be the rise in the number of workers on disability.”
A record 8,733,461 people now receive disability benefits, a figure greater than the population of New York City.
Today, nearly 90 million Americans are no longer in the labor force.