Last Friday’s jobs report does not tell the whole unemployment story, according to American Enterprise Institute blogger and CNBC contributor James Pethokoukis.
He writes, “If the labor force participation rate was the same as when Obama took office in January 2009, the unemployment rate would be 11.2%.”
Had the participation rate remained the same as the previous month, Pethokoukis points out, “the unemployment rate would be 8.4 percent” — higher than the 8.1 percent in the August report.
Those who have returned to work amidst the meager recovery are often only finding jobs that are part-time and pay less than what they formerly earned.
“The broader U-6 unemployment rate, which includes part-time workers who want full-time work, is at 14.7 percent.”
Today, one in two are considered low income or below the poverty line, according to the Census Bureau, sparking fears of a shrinking middle class.
Record numbers of Americans receive food stamps and Social Security disability insurance, instead of seeking jobs that seem to be non-existent.
According to some accounts, the true unemployment rate is just below 19 percent. Fewer people are working today than worked in 2001.
The most recent jobs report noted that unprecedented number of Americans “not in the civilian labor force,” according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
“368,000 people simply dropped out of the labor force last month and did not even look for a job” in August, writes CNS News. According to Reuters, the participation rate is now at its lowest level since September 1981.
“Again, a terribly anemic report that shows a stagnant economy — not one ready to boom,” Pethokoukis writes.
In a telling graph, Pethokoukis plots the unemployment projections made by the Obama administration, both with the stimulus and without the stimulus. Real experienced unemployment levels, however, have remained a full two percentage points higher than projections that include the stimulus.
Despite promises that unemployment would remain below 8 percent, unemployment has failed to fall below this number for 43 straight months.
“It’s zero hour. Policy makers need to understand that the most important family program, the most important social program and the most important economic program in America all go by the same name: jobs,” wrote Mortimer Zuckerman, chairman and editor in chief of U.S. News & World Report, in the Wall Street Journal.
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