8,786,049: Yet Another Record for Americans Collecting Disability

By Terence P. Jeffrey | September 17, 2012 | 4:44pm EDT

(AP Photo)

(CNSNews.com) - The Social Security Administration has released new data revealing that 8,786,049 American workers are collecting federal disability insurance payments in September. That sets yet another record for the number of Americans on disability.

The 8,786,049 workers taking federal disability in September is a net increase of 18,108 from the 8,767,941 workers who took federal disability in August.

Over the past 45 years, the number of American workers taking federal disability payments has increased four-fold relative to the number actually working.

In August 1967, 74,767,000 Americans were working (according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics) and 1,152,861 were taking federal disability insurance (according to the Social Security Administration). That means that at that time there were about 65 Americans working for each worker collecting disability.

In August 2012, 142,101,000 Americans were working and 8,767,941 were on disability--meaning there were only 16.2 people working for each person collecting disability.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a record 88,921,000 Americans were “not in the labor force” in August. These were Americans who were at least 16 years old, who were not in the military or in an institution such as a prison or a nursing home, and who did not have a job and had not actively sought one in the last four weeks.

Also in August, according to the BLS, only 63.5 percent of the civilian population (those over 16, who were not in the military or in an institution) participated in the labor force. That was the lowest level of labor force participation in 31 years. To participate in the labor force a person must either have a job or at least be actively trying to find one.

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