Kaiser Family Foundation/New York Times/CBS News Non-Employed Poll

To help shed light on recent trends in the U.S. employment market, the Kaiser Family Foundation partnered with The New York Times and CBS News to conduct a survey of adults between the ages of 25-54 (generally considered to be prime working age) who are not currently employed. Rather than focusing only on those who meet the official government definition of unemployment, this survey takes a broad look at all prime-age adults who are not working, regardless of their desire for work or job-seeking activities. While the official U.S. unemployment rate has declined since the start of the recession in late 20071, the total share of adults who are not employed has risen in recent years. Economists consider this “labor force participation rate” at least as important as the official unemployment rate as a measure of the current and future health of the U.S. economy. This survey examines the views and experiences of this broad group of prime-age workers who are not employed, including how they get by financially, the factors to which they attribute their lack of employment, what it would take to get them working, and – for those who used to work – how being out of work has changed their lives.