Willfully or not, this MSNBC piece distorts the BLS employment situation report and subtracts from the sum of human knowledge
So MSNBC has a post up with this headline:
“What are 95 million Americans doing out of the labor force?
The real issues arise in three places. One is "discouraged workers," people who would like to work, but have quit looking because they are, well, discouraged by their prospects. There is an alternative unemployment rate, calculated and published every month by the Bureau of Labor Statistics that includes them.
The second is people who are employed part time, but want full-time work. Think of them as partly employed, partly unemployed. There is an alternative unemployment rate, calculated and published every month by the Bureau of Labor Statistics that includes them.
(You can find those alternative measures of unemployment here: http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.t15.htm.) U6, which is the broadest measure of underutilization of labor is down from 9.6% in November 2015 to 9.0% in November 2016.) In fact, the number of people not in the labor force has increased by less than 1% over the past year, while the relevant population has increased by nearly 2%.
Finally, the notion that millions of people can collect "welfare" (there is almost no cash assistance for people able to work any more) and the "other transfer payments"--SNAP (a/k/s Food Stamps), renter's assistance (woefully underfunded)--is all but laughable.