Percentage of Working Americans Hits 30-Year Low: The labor force participation rate, which measures the percentage of able Americans working or looking for work, fell to a 30-year low of 63.7 percent in January. Much of the recent decline in the unemployment rate can be attributed to the historic drop in labor force participation as more and more American give up on finding a job.
OECD Cuts U.S. GDP Forecasts: According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the nation’s economic forecast for the next two years is bleak and not getting any better. In its report, the OECD said that U.S. GDP is expected to expand by just 1.7% this year, from a previous forecast of 2.6% growth, and by 1.8% next year, down from initial estimates of 3.1% growth. By comparison, the group raised China's GDP growth estimate from 9% to 9.3% for 2011.
Entitlements Growing Percentage of Federal Budget: According to the Wall Street Journal, the CBO has projected “the government would spend $1.6 trillion on Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid in 2012, 44% of the federal budget. In 2022, the government will spend $3.0 trillion on those programs, 54% of the federal budget.”