Of the 103,087,000 full-time, year-round workers, 16,606,000 worked for the government. That included 12,597,000 who worked for state and local government and 4,009,000 who worked for the federal government.
The 86,429,000 Americans who worked full-time, year-round in the private sector, included 77,392,000 employed as wage and salary workers for private-sector enterprises and 9,037,000 who worked for themselves. (There were also approximately 52,000 who worked full-time, year-round without pay in a family enterprise.) …
The Census Bureau also estimates the size of the benefit-receiving population.
This population, too, falls into two broad categories. The first includes those who receive benefits for public services they performed or in exchange for payroll taxes they dutifully paid their entire working lives. Among these, for example, are those receiving veteran’s benefits, those on unemployment and those getting Medicare and Social Security.
The second category includes those who get “means-tested” government benefits — or welfare. These include, for example, those who get Medicaid, food stamps, Supplemental Security Income, public housing, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, and Women, Infants Children. …
There were 108,592,000 people in the fourth quarter of 2011 who lived in a household that included people on “one or more means-tested program.”
Those 108,592,000 outnumbered the 86,429,000 full-time private-sector workers who inhabited the United States in 2012 by
almost 1.3 to 1. …
There were 49,901,000 people receiving Social Security in the fourth quarter of 2011, and 46,440,000 receiving Medicare. There were also 5,098,000 getting unemployment compensation.
And there were also 3,178,000 veterans receiving benefits and 34,000 veterans getting educational assistance.
All told, including both the welfare recipients and the non-welfare beneficiaries, there were 151,014,000 who “received benefits from one or more programs” in the fourth quarter of 2011. Subtract the 3,212,000 veterans, who served their country in the most profound way possible, and that leaves 147,802,000 non-veteran benefit takers.
The 147,802,000 non-veteran benefit takers outnumbered the 86,429,000 full-time private sector workers 1.7 to 1.