Nearly four in 10 Americans, or 92 million, are not in the labor force and now there’s a reason why: They have simply given up and don’t want to work.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the largest group of people not in the labor force are those who don’t want a job, a remarkable statement on the nation’s work ethic. The federal job counter said that 85.9 million adults last month didn’t want a job, or 93 percent of all adults not in the labor force.

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A Pew Research Center analysis out Friday dug a bit deeper to find out who those people are. Many are younger Americans who seem far less interested it landing a job than previous generations, possibly discouraged by the lack of good-paying jobs.

Pew said that 39 percent of 16- to 24-year-olds don’t want to work, up from 29 percent in 2000.

Women especially don’t want a job, but men have similar feelings.

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“Women are more likely than men to say they don’t want a job, although the gap has been narrowing — especially since the Great Recession. Last month, 28.5 percent of men said they didn’t want a job, up from 23.9 percent in October 2000 and 25.2 percent in October 2008. For women, the share saying they didn’t want a job hovered around 38 percent throughout the 2000s but began creeping up in 2010, reaching 40.2 percent last month,” said the Pew analysis.

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Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at