Almost 20 percent of American families did not have anyone working last year, according to newly released government data.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 16,069,000 families were not working, up from the 2015 figure of 16,050,000. That amounts to 19.6 percent of families.
There were more than 82 million U.S. families last year. For the purposes of the study, families included those with children under the age of 18 and couples with no children.
Retirees do not appear to be counted in the study, since the definition of unemployed means someone that was eligible for work and, therefore, was in the labor pool.
The percentage of families with at least one unemployed person last year stood at 6.5.
The racial breakdown of families with no one working: 22.2 percent of blacks, 19.8 percent of whites, 13.3 percent of Hispanics, and 11.5 percent of Asians.
Job Creators Network president Alfredo Ortiz told The Washington Free Beacon the government data points to problems in the labor market.
"The fact that 20 percent of families don't have anyone working demonstrates that the labor market still has weaknesses," Ortiz said. "But the problem isn't the number of available jobs.
"There are currently 5.7 million job openings, millions of which pay roughly $50,000 or more per year."
Ortiz noted the skills gap in America needs to be addressed so workers can land better jobs.
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