Some astoundingly grim news on the “economic recovery” front: half of American households are receiving government funds to support themselves. No matter which way you slice it, this number isn’t good news for the Obama administration — they can spin the jobs numbers by ignoring the number of people who dropped out of the workforce, but this statistic is pretty straightforward.

The 49.1% of the population in a household that gets benefits is up from 30% in the early 1980s and 44.4% as recently as the third quarter of 2008.

The increase in recent years is likely due in large part to the lingering effects of the recession. As of early 2011, 15% of people lived in a household that received food stamps, 26% had someone enrolled in Medicaid and 2% had a member receiving unemployment benefits.