In 19.9 percent of American families in 2014, according to data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), no one in the family worked.
A family, as defined by the BLS, is a “group of two or more persons residing together who are related by birth, marriage, or adoption. In 2014, there were 80,889,000 families in the United States, and in 16,057,000 of those families, or 19.9 percent, no one had a job.
The BLS designates a person as “employed” if “during the survey reference week” they “(a) did any work at all as paid employees; (b) worked in their own business, profession, or on their own farm; (c) or worked 15 hours or more as unpaid workers in an enterprise operated by a member of the family.”
Members of the 16,057,000 families in which no one held jobs could have been either unemployed or not in the labor force. The BLS designates a person as unemployed if they did not have a job but were actively seeking one. The BLS designates someone as not in the labor force, if they did not have a job and were not actively seeking one.