Nearly one-third of working-age Americans did not participate in the US labor force last month, a record high, according to new statistics.
In February, 92,898,000 Americans aged 16 and older were out of the labor force, data released Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics, a unit of the US Labor Department, is the main fact-finding agency for the US government in the broad field of labor economics and statistics.
February’s labor participation rate was 62.8 percent, the lowest level since March 1978, when it was at the same rate, a trend that has intensified since President Barrack Obama took office in 2009.
When Obama came to power in January 2009, there were around 80 million Americans not participating in the workforce, meaning that over 12 million citizens have left the workforce since then.
In just the last month, 354,000 Americans left the workforce, official figures show.
Analysts say the official unemployment rate, as reported by the Department of Labor, is extremely misleading.
Although the official unemployment rate fell to 5.5 percent in February, the true unemployment rate is likely double that rate because the Department of Labor does not count people who have given up on finding a job as unemployed.
“Say you're an out-of-work engineer or healthcare worker or construction worker or retail manager, if you perform a minimum of one hour of work in a week and are paid at least $20 - maybe someone pays you to mow their lawn - you're not officially counted as unemployed,” Gallup CEO Jim Clifton wrote last month. “Few Americans know this.”