New Report Reveals Why Mass Workforce Exodus is Happening

( Fox Business recently got access to an exclusive analysis published this week by the Joint Economic Committee Republicans, and it provides an interesting take on the current status of the job market.

The report found that government policies and programs are exacerbating an exodus in the workforce that has been decades in the making. The United States is seeing a huge increase in the number of workers in their “prime-age” who are leaving the workforce voluntarily.

According to the report, the trend goes back a full 50 years for men. In 1955, the participation rate in the labor force for men was 97%. That dropped all the way to 89% right before the pandemic began.

It’s a trend that happened among women as well, but only started about two decades ago.

In a statement, the ranking member of the JEC Republicans, Senator Mike Lee, said:

“As the number of Americans who receive government assistance has grown, more Americans have voluntarily left their jobs. Congress’ plan to spend an additional $3.5 trillion to provide households with new subsidies and fewer incentives to work would only make things worse.”

The really disturbing part of the stats is that the majority of people who have left their jobs did so on their own. Only 12% of the men who are unemployed and of prime age and able to work said they actually wanted to get a job or were open to doing so.

Even worse, a whopping 41% of the men who aren’t working for a reason other than retirement, disability, homemaking or education are receiving assistance from the government.

As the analysis reads:

“Government policies may be tipping the scales away from work. A growing number of Americans receive government assistance, which has been shown to lower employment.”

In other words, the government is actually incentivizing people not to work. Policies like this were seen in broad daylight during the COVID-19 pandemic, when expanded and enhanced unemployment benefits were paying people more to stay at home than they would make working a job.

The report reads:

“This growth in safety net benefits likely makes non-work more attractive and has contributed to declining labor force participation.”

Evidence in the analysis shows that government assistance generally tends to result in lower employment numbers. This is especially true for assistance that doesn’t have any work requirements in order for people to qualify.

As a result, the JEC Republicans said that policymakers should remove all of the financial disincentives to work, and also lift any barriers by reforming occupational licensing. This, among many other steps, could help to influence people to return to the workforce if they’ve already left voluntarily.

The programs that were analyzed as part of the report were Supplementary Security Income, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (also known as food stamps), unemployment benefits, Social Security Disability Insurance and Medicaid.

There were other programs that fall into the “social-safety net” that were analyzed as part of the report.