Friday, April 5, 2013

Labor and Disability

Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words.  This picture may qualify. 
Since 2009, the number of folks claiming disability has grown 19%.  The average monthly disability payment in 2013 was $1,130.  Meanwhile, the labor force participation rate continues to decline.  During the same time frame, the labor force participation rate has fallen -3.3%.   I plotted the two data sets on one chart, and it’s quite telling:
Would it be completely unreasonable to say that many capable but chronically unemployed folks have abandoned looking for work and joined the disability rolls?