34.3 percent of Americans don’t want a job
posted at 1:16 pm on November 4, 2013 by Katie Pavlich
At some point in our lives, each of us has said to ourselves, “Wow I really wish I didn’t have to work.” Shortly after making that statement, we snap back into reality and understand we should be productive members of society. This typically includes being employed. Because of this basic economic fact, I found it alarming that more than 1/3 of the work force just doesn’t want a job. The Wall Street Journal has the numbers:
34.3%: Share of Americans over age 16 who say they don’t want a job, up from about 30% two decades ago. Americans aren’t just leaving the labor force — those who have left it are drifting further away.
Being unemployed is a major problem. Not wanting to be employed is an even bigger one.
In a new paper, economists Regis Barnichon and Andrew Figura divide up those out of the labor force using a simpler standard: whether or not the person says they want a job. And they uncover an interesting previously unnoticed trend: As a share of all those “not in the labor force,” the number of people who want a job has been generally declining since the early 1980s.