6.2 Million ‘Great Recession’ Victims Not Invited To Jobs Report Party
(DALLAS, TX) A co-founder of the Job Creators Network today was cautiously optimistic about a slight decline in the November unemployment rate and warned the nation still suffers from the largest percentage of Americans since the Carter era who have given up on getting a job.
“Economic recovery is a slow process and even a diminutive drop in unemployment is good news,” Captive Aire CEO Robert Luddy said. “But the real story in today’s jobs report is the 6.2 million people who have walked out on the job market since 2009 – an unprecedented abandonment of the American Dream that is not counted in the official unemployment rate. That’s the impact of having just 63 percent of working age adults employed or seeking a job today, compared to 65.5 percent when the President took office.”
The U.S. economy added 203,000 jobs in November, according to a Labor Department report released Friday morning. The nation’s unemployment rate dropped to 7 percent. But the Labor Force Participation rate remains at historic lows (63 percent).
“Any celebration of today’s jobs report ignores a massive sidelined labor force almost as big as the population of Illinois and larger than 45 other states,” said Luddy, who co-founded the national Job Creators Network. “If we assume those idled workers really want jobs – and we should – then our unemployment rate is really around 10.6 percent.”
The official annual unemployment rate has not been at 10.6 percent since World War Two. The labor force participation rate – the measure of working-age adults with a job or seeking one – rose steadily in the decades after the war, as women joined the workforce. It reached 66.5 percent in 1989 and hovered between 66 and 67 percent for the next 20 years. Few understand how this important measure collapsed after 2009 with the Great Recession, steadily hiding millions of additional idled workers from the official tally of the unemployed.
When President Obama took office, the labor force participation rate was still close to the historical average, at 65.5 percent. If that standard were applied to today’s unemployment figures, the number of jobless would increase from 10.9 million up to 17.1 million. Worse: Applying the 66 percent minimum participation rate that held from 1989-2008 would throw almost 7.4 million additional unemployed workers into today’s total, and send the unemployment rate to 11.2 percent.
“Today’s real story is the unprecedented abandonment of more than 17 million productive Americans,” Luddy said. “Our economy will remain crippled until we cut that in half, but we don’t have the pro-growth policies in place to get it done. Meanwhile, Washington is cheering small gains that don’t even dent the big problem.”
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