One In Five American Families Don’t Have A Single Person Working A Job

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Casey Harper Contributor
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Newly released government data reveals that in a fifth of U.S. families, not a single person has a job.

The Washington Free Beacon reports that in 19.7 percent of American families, no one is employed, based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics released Friday. That’s 16 million families where no one has a job.

The BLS defines a family as a married couple or a man or woman without a spouse present, adding that they are still families regardless of whether they have children. The data surveyed households in 2015 and considers a person employed even if they do not work full time.

Having children increases the likelihood of employment in families. In families with children, 89.3 percent had at least one parent with a job. In married couples with children, 96.7 percent had at least one parent employed.

“Among families of other marital statuses with children, the mother was employed in 70.8 percent of those maintained by mothers in 2015, and the father was employed in 82.1 percent of those maintained by fathers,” the BLS report says.

Race played a significant factor in employment levels, with black families the hardest hit.

“The number of families with at least one member unemployed decreased by 871,000 to 5.6 million in 2015, and the proportion of families with an unemployed person declined by 1.1 percentage points to 6.9 percent,” the BLS report says. “Black and Hispanic families remained more likely to have an unemployed member in 2015 (12.0 percent and 9.7 percent, respectively) than White or Asian families (6.0 percent and 5.7 percent, respectively).”

Employment was up slightly from 80.1 percent of families in 2014 to 80.3 percent in 2015. It’s worth noting that retired couples would be counted in this portion of unemployed families.

“The likelihood of having an employed family member rose in 2015 for Black families (from 76.4 percent to 77.7 percent) and for Hispanic families (from 85.9 percent to 86.4 percent),” the BLS report says. “The likelihood for White and Asian families showed little or no change (80.1 percent and 88.6 percent, respectively).”

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