How many people have left the workforce?
posted at 2:00 pm on July 10, 2010 by Ed Morrissey
As a follow-up to my earlier post on employment and stimulus, here’s a chart of what may be the most significant data on the topic. Barack Obama claims that the unemployment rate dropping from 9.7% to 9.5% shows that we’re moving in the right direction economically — but that data doesn’t include those who have left the workforce out of discouragement. They have no jobs and have given up looking for another due to economic conditions, according to the categorization by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This chart shows the direction in which our economic policies have taken the US:
(numbers in thousands)
These represent the gross numbers of able-bodied workers outside the workforce and no longer looking for jobs. The red star indicated when Barack Obama’s stimulus was passed, and we can see the effects or lack thereof on the workforce afterward. Not only has the unemployment rate gone up and the number of jobs continued to drop since February 2009, Americans are increasingly leaving the workforce instead of joining it.
In what universe does this show “the right direction”?