July: 988,000 'Discouraged' Americans Concluded There Were No Jobs for Them

August 2, 2013 - 8:23 AM
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In this Thursday, June 6, 2013 photo, job seekers apply for prospect employment positions at the 12th annual Mission career fair in the Skid Row area of Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

(CNSNews.com) – There were 988,000 discouraged workers in the United States in July, an increase of 136,000 from July 2012, according to data released today the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

“Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them,” the BLS explains.

While the overall unemployment rate declined to the lowest rate since December 2008 at 7.4 percent, those not in the labor force remains near an all-time high at 89,957,000. The previous high was 89,967,000 in March of this year.

The number of Americans who dropped out of the labor force was 240,000 in July – 78,000 more than the162,000 jobs added in the month.

The BLS labeled people who are unemployed and no longer looking for work as “not in the labor force,” including people who have retired on schedule, taken early retirement, or simply given up looking for work.

Also, 2.4 million Americans were “marginally attached to the labor force,” which means they are not working but “wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months.”

The labor force participation rate in July also ticked down to 63.4 percent, from 63.5 percent in June.

Total part-time workers, those working less than 35 hours per week as defined by the BLS, reached 28,233,000, increasing by 174,000 since June.

Those working part-time for "economic reasons" was essentially unchanged at 8.2 million in July, the BLS said.

In addition, 9.57 million people have left the labor force since February 2009, President Obama’s first full month in office.

On average, 163,037 Americans have left the workforce each month since then, with a high of 1,177,000 in January 2012.

In contrast, only 23,981 jobs have been added each month.

For the first 13 months of Obama’s presidency, the economy was losing jobs, starting with a decline of 651,000 jobs in February 2009. The economy did not begin to grow jobs consistently until October 2010, when 151,000 were added to the payrolls.

The more than a year of decline in payrolls lowers Obama’s jobs added average to just 23,981, which is 139,056 less than the number of Americans leaving the workforce each month.