This Is Your “Obama Recovery”
posted at 12:05 pm on February 20, 2012 by Mitch Berg
The Dems are crowing about the drop in unemployment numbers.
But if you look a little further into the numbers, you see that the American job market is notbetter off than it was four years ago. Indeed, it’s a lot worse.
On Inauguration Day in 2009, when Barack Obama took office, the unemployment rate was 7.8 percent (up from 4.4% as recently as May of 2007). Notwithstanding his promises that Porkulus would cap unemployment at 8.5%, it soared to 10% in October of 2009, and didn’t dip down below 9% in any sustained way until last fall. Last month, after three years of Obama, it was at 8.3% – or .2% lower than where he said it’d never get above if we spent what he proposed.
“But 8.3% is better than 10%, right?”
Sure – if all you’re doing is comparing numbers straight-up. But by itself, the unemployment rate is meaningless. It’s a percentage of people out of work – but who are those people? They are the ones that are participating in the labor market.
And fewer Americans than ever -ever! – are doing that!
So let’s figure the actual percentage of Americans working, overall.
January 2009: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Workforce Participation rate when Obama took office was 65.7%. That means 34.3% of the workforce wasn’t even trying to participate, through discouragement, disability or whatever case applied. Add to that the 7.8% unemployed, and you reach a figure of 57.1% of the American workforce actually working.
October 2009: At this point, the “low point” of the Obama recession, the participation rate was an even 65% just in time for unemployment to hit an even 10%., 55% of the American work force was working.
January, 2012: As unemployment stood at 8.3%, the workforce participation rate was 63.7% – the lowest since records have been kept. That means that overall employment in the American workforce is now a whopping…
That’s a fifth of a percent higher than it was at the lowest point of the Obama recession.
Almost two full points lower than it was when Barack Obama took office.
(And five full points lower than June of 2003, the worst month of George W. Bush’s presidency. That’s five percent lower employment overall. Six and change if you take one of Bush’s better months).
The media is spinning nonstop about the “Obama recovery”. It’s vapor; in terms of percentage of the American workforce actually working, there is no recovery.
Are you better off than you were four years ago, America?
No – you’re doing two percent worse.