The Labor Department reported the U.S. economy added only 209,000 jobs in July. The unemployment rate rose to 6.2%, but that hardly tells how tough the labor market has become for ordinary folks.
The jobless rate may be down from its recession peak of 10%, but much of this results from adults, discouraged by the lack of decent job openings, who have quit altogether. They are neither employed nor looking for work. Factor these people, among others such as students, and the rate is closer to 18%.
Only about half of the drop in the adult participation rate may be attributed to the Baby Boom generation reaching retirement age. Lacking adequate resources to retire, a larger percentage of adults over 65 are working than before the recession.