WASHINGTON—With the U.S. unemployment rate still in double digits, a new Labor Department report published Monday credits most of the spike in joblessness to an uptick in the number of Americans leaving their old lives behind to reach for the stars and become a professional dancer.

“Our data shows that in the past four months, Americans have overwhelmingly decided it’s time to stop talking about their long-nurtured dreams of a dancing career and, instead, get out there and make it happen,” said John Wilson of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, adding that the majority of the nation’s approximately 16 million new Broadway hopefuls promptly quit their steady, full-time jobs after looking in the mirror and asking themselves, “If not now, when?”

“We’re seeing more and more heads of households break into ambitiously choreographed routines in the middle of the workday, dance out to the parking lot, and then drive straight through the night to the Big Apple, where they vow not to give up until they land a spot with the American Ballet Theatre, Alvin Ailey, or one of the other big companies. We can only hope a larger market for tap, modern, and hip-hop opens up soon to absorb some of the impact this newly unbridled passion for movement has had on the economy. These numbers are even worse than when we saw when millions of workers had left to go find themselves in Asia in 2008.”

Historians confirmed this year’s job losses are the highest recorded since struggling Americans migrated to California in hopes of dancing in a lavishly produced Busby Berkeley musical during the Great Depression.

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