We've got a college educated nation that can pull the fourth grade "Mom, I don't feel so well".
And it wasn't just last month. From Investors Business Daily:
Disability Ranks Outpace New Jobs In Obama Recovery
More workers joined the federal government's disability program in June than got new jobs, according to two new government reports, a clear indicator of how bleak the nation's jobs picture is after three full years of economic recovery.From Econompic Data
The economy created just 80,000 jobs in June, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday. But that same month, 85,000 workers left the workforce entirely to enroll in the Social Security Disability Insurance program, according to the Social Security Administration.
The disability ranks have outpaced job growth throughout President Obama's recovery. While the economy has created 2.6 million jobs since June 2009, fully 3.1 million workers signed up for disability benefits.
In other words, the number of new disability enrollees has climbed 19% faster than the number of jobs created during the sluggish recovery. (Even after accounting for people who left the disability program because they died or aged into retirement, disability ranks have climbed more than 1.1 million in the past three years.)
And the disability ranks will continue to swell. In just the last month, almost 275,000 put in applications for disability benefits. Experts say that more people try to get on disability when jobs are scarce, and changes to eligibility rules enacted back in 1984 have made it far easier to qualify....MORE
Gaming the System... Disability Edition
In my post outlining the decline in employment (excluding teens), reader Mike pointed out another interesting phenomenon:One of the stories I read about this month's BLS report dealt with the rise in people on disability. I thought charting this over a few dozen years and several recessions might tell an interesting story.
Unfortunately, the BLS only reports this data going back to 2008, but the most recent data shows an interesting trend. From the looks of it, we have what appears to be a not-so-coincidental mirror image between the decline in those unemployed with the rise in the number of people not working via claims of disability. I know next to nothing about disability, but my guess is individuals whose employment benefits have run out, have been increasingly taken advantage of disability as a replacement.
This is a trend we've been trying to draw attention to:
What I'd really like to see is a list of the counties with the highest levels of Social Security Disability fraud, this is a program ripe for reform....
"TrimTabs on Debt and Disability Claims: How Much Debt Does it Take to Generate $1 in GDP? Disability Fraud vs. Expiring Unemployment Benefits Revisited"