Here’s Why 100 Million Americans Weren’t Working This Month By Bloomberg

(Bloomberg) — About 100 million Americans weren’t working in early October, according the Census Bureau, and some of the reasons may come as a surprise.

Nearly half of respondents are now retired. This is expected considering the size of the baby-boomer generation and the fact many people left the labor market during the pandemic. Another 12% were either suffering from an illness not related to Covid, or were disabled.

The coronavirus is still a major factor in keeping workers out the workforce. The poll implies that 5.6 million people aren’t working because of Covid-19, whether they are ill themselves, caring for someone who’s sick, or they’re concerned about getting or spreading the coronavirus. Others also mention losing their jobs due to the pandemic.


Despite the fact that inflation reached a four-decade peak and parts of our economy cooling, the labor market has remained tight throughout this year. Although they are down from their peak, there are still many job openings. Both large and small businesses have complained about labor shortages, and the difficulty in keeping staff.

The Census poll was conducted between Oct. 5 and Oct. 17. It gives a glimpse into the reasons why so many people remained on the sidelines. 

More than 6 million didn’t have a job because they were caring for a child or elderly person, and another 6.8 million didn’t want to be employed, the survey shows. About 1.2 million workers were left behind by a lack of transportation. 

The equivalent of 32 million people who aren’t working are relying on savings to cover their needs, including withdrawals from retirement accounts or money from selling assets. The poll also shows that 26 million people are using credit cards and loans, while 12 million borrowed money from their friends and family to meet their expenses. 

Additionally, more than 20 millions rely on government transfers, such as unemployment insurance payments or food stamps. 

Multiple categories were allowed to be marked in the Census.

The household pulse survey was initiated by the agency after Covid-19 was introduced in the US. It provides real-time data to show how the pandemic is affecting families. 

©2022 Bloomberg L.P.


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