Ahem. Just how have Americans fared on the jobs front under Barack Obama? The civilian participation in the workforce has dropped to its lowest level in 30 years — since Reagan, in fact, started a generation-long increase in the same measure. We are still nearly two million jobs below what we had when Obama took office, and have only increased the number of jobs by less than 1.3 million since the end of the Great Recession in June 2009 — a period of 30 months in which real job growth amounted to 43,333 per month, far below the level of population growth.
Greg Sargent previewed the Democratic attack on jobs yesterday if Romney wins the nomination:
In Iowa yesterday, the Democratic National Committee held an event featuring testimony from a man who was laid off from a company that was restructured by Bain Capital on Mitt Romney’s watch.
“I really feel he didn’t care about the workers there,” said the worker, Randy Johnson, who was fired from American Pad and Paper even as investors raked in huge profits from the arrangement. “It was all about profit before people.”
Here’s what’s key to understand: This is only the first of many such workers we’ll likely hear from as the campaign unfolds.
You can rest assured that Democrats have identified a number of other people who have been laid off by companies restructured by Bain on Romney’s watch, and that they’ll be speaking out in the weeks and months ahead.
There may well be a few thousand such people that the DNC can find for its attack ads. On the other hand, the number of people who have dropped out of the workforce over the last three years reaches into the millions, and those who still want work into the hundreds of thousands. Persons who stopped looking because they see no jobs available rose from 734,000 in January 2009, 793,000 in June of the same year when the recession ended, to over a million in November 2011, the last month that data is available from the BLS. The Obama campaign can try to make jobs an issue in the election, but it’s a loser of an argument, and in this case delivered by the least likely person in the DNC to turn it into a winner.