Nearly 1 In 4 Americans In Their Prime Are Not Working


Nearly one in four Americans of prime working age are not working, even as the president boasts of falling unemployment numbers and other indicators show economic growth.

Since the recession began in 2007, the number of Americans ages 25 to 54 who are not working has grown by more than 3.5 million to 28.9 million, according to an analysis Bureau of Labor Statistics data conducted by Senate Budget Committee Republicans.

About 23 percent of the 124.5 million Americans in that age group are either unemployed or are not looking for work.

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President Obama boasted of economic gains at a Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee fundraising event Tuesday. Since he took office, unemployment is down, he said, and "by every economic measure we are better off."

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Overall unemployment has indeed fallen to about 6 percent, and new data Friday from the Bureau of Labor Statistics puts the real gross domestic product growth at 4.6 percent, up from its last estimate of 4.2 percent.

But according to the Senate GOP budget staff's analysis, the number of Americans working as a percentage is near a four-decade low, and two-thirds of the people who have left the work force since 2009 are below the age of 55.

"These statistics illustrate that the problems in the American economy are deep, profound, and pervasive, afflicting the sector of the labor force that should be among the most productive," said a statement accompanying the analysis.

The latest jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics stated 142,000 jobs were added in August — far below the 225,000 jobs expected.

Jason Furman, Chairman of the president's Council of Economic Advisers, said in a statement Friday the latest GDP numbers are encouraging, but there is still work to be done. "The President will continue to do everything in his power to support investments in job creation and encourage higher incomes for workers," he said.

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