Who does all the work?


By web gangsta | Published:

Hopefully, you’ve been on the Internet long enough for someone (likely, a parent) to have forwarded to you the following old meme about how tired you are from being overworked:

Yes, I’m tired.

For several years I’ve been blaming it on getting older, lack of sleep, weekend projects, stale office air, poor nutrition, carrying a couple of extra pounds, raising a family, recent ailments, and a dozen other reasons that make you wonder why life is getting tough.

But now I found out what’s really happening! I’m tired because I’m overworked.

The population of the USA reached 300 million last October.

79 million of the population are retired. That leaves 221 million to do the work.

There are 19 million toddlers and 76 million students in schools, which leaves 126 million to do the work.

Of that total, 21 million are unemployed leaving 105 million to do the work.

Then you take away 34 million in hospitals and that leaves 71 million to do the work.

43 million are in prisons and that’s 28 million left to do the work.

Now take away 14,683,468 federal, 5,344,722 state and 5,370,743 city workers who run our government and you’re left with 2,601,067 to do the work.

Take away the 2,601,065 people in the armed forces and that leaves just two people to do the work, you and me.

And you’re just sitting there reading this!

No wonder I’m tired!!!

Untapped Talent: Unleashing the Power of the Hidden Workforce
Untapped Talent: Unleashing the Power of the Hidden Workforce

So even though the numbers may change over the years to make the math work out, the premise is always the same – everyone else is accounted for, leaving just one person to do all the work.

Funny thing is that this old joke really isn’t that far off from the truth – at least, not according to THE ATLANTIC’s LOOK AT THE LABOR FORCE recently.

Here’s what they’ve found:

  • 47% are working full-time
  • 11% are employed part-time
  • 5% are unemployed

So where does that leave the other 37% of people who could be working but aren’t?

  • 1% is military
  • 2% are institutionalized, which we will assume means “in prison, jail, hospitals, etc”
  • 2% are stay-at-home parents
  • 5% are disabled
  • 15% are retired
  • 3% want to work… but aren’t, for whatever other reason that isn’t already covered
  • 3% are full-time college students
  • and the ever-popular 8% classified as “other”