...inevitably someone in the comments will pipe up and add, "But you are not taking into account those so discouraged that they have given up looking for work."
But who are these non-lookers? It is certainly not the case that they can't find jobs.
It would take a skilled programmer about an hour to find a job. I have heard of pure jackasses that couldn't sell a bottle of ice cold water in the desert who have landed sales positions with base salaries of $60k to $80k.
And there are plenty of jobs for non-skilled workers. I travel enough to see help wanted signs across the country for non-skilled workers. Here in downtown San Francisco, you see them almost every block:
So somehow we have "discouraged" workers who can't find jobs despite there being jobs all around. How are they surviving if they haven't had jobs since the start of the Great Recession?
I suspect some are working under the table and reporting they can't find jobs.
What is left are not "discouraged" workers who can't find work, they are looking for jobs that don't exist in the real world and probably have it too comfy as full time gigolos "looking" for work.
Anyone who hasn't worked since the Great Recession would be long dead from starvation if they weren't finagling some kind of angle. They are not discouraged, they are elitist unemployed, who have it way too comfortable now to be looking for work. Outside of the extreme low productivity workers who aren't worth the minimum wage, it is really difficult to see how someone couldn't get a job if he wanted one.