There are 21.8 million government employees—federal, state and local—which make up 16 percent of total, non-farm employment.

During and after the recession, states became much more reliant on the federal government to fund programs, primarily due to an influx of money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, while simultaneously experiencing faltering tax collections.

In the first month that Americans could go to the health insurance exchanges (or marketplaces) created under the Affordable Care Act, just over 106,000 individuals selected a health insurance plan. The state-run exchanges -- in the District of Columbia and 14 states -- have 79,391 individuals who have selected a plan, 75 percent of the national total. 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, around 75.3 million people were paid hourly rates in 2012. Among those paid hourly rates, 3.6 million earned the minimum wage in their state, or 2.1 percent.

The likelihood of someone not participating in the labor force, as well as the reason for not participating, often depends on a person’s age.