Charts: Unemployment Rate vs. Size of Labor Force

– Courtesy of Liberty Works

* The following charts track the unemployment rate and the size of the labor force. *

The chart above shows that over the first 25 months of the current recovery the unemployment rate has declined from 10.1% to 8.5% while the size of the labor force is virtually unchanged even though the working age population has grown.

Since the beginning of 2008 the working age population has grown by 7.2 million people.  Yet the labor force which is normally about two-thirds of the working age population has shrunk over the same period by 49,000.

Thus, 4.8 million men and women who should be included in the unemployment rate calculation as both in the labor force and unemployed are not counted at all because they have become too discouraged to look for jobs.

If those men and women were included in the unemployment rate calculation the December rate would have been 11.3%, higher than any time since 1940.

The second chart above tracks the first 25 months of the Reagan recovery of the 1980s. President Reagan inherited a sick economy and a deep recession that by most measures was worse than what President Obama inherited.  As the chart shows, the unemployment rate soared even higher but then there was a steep drop even as the labor force grew by 4.3 million!  People did not give up looking for jobs during the Reagan boom because there was robust growth in the economy and employers were creating hundreds of thousands of jobs every month.


There is a potential downside that could blow up Obama’s propaganda campaign. If the “good news” about the unemployment rate encourages several million people to come back into the labor force and seek jobs, the number officially classified as “unemployed” will increase and the unemployment rate will tick back up as the November election approaches.

Read the full story at – Liberty Works

Labor Force Contraction with Obama

– And other hidden truths

– By: Larry Walker, Jr. –

On January 7, 2012, Barack Obama boasted, “We’re moving in the right direction. We have made real progress.” Then he went on to exaggerate that, “Altogether more private sector jobs were created in 2011 than any year since 2005.” Naturally, such jovial assertions propelled many left-wing moonbats back to work today, if you can call blogging false claims such as that ‘Obama created more jobs in one year than Bush did in eight’, and other malarkey, work. It’s funny that these same cherry-pickers never attempt to match wits when it comes to the national debt. We all know that Obama has borrowed $1.0 trillion more in 3 years, than Bush did in eight, but I digress. So let’s examine Obama’s latest victory on the jobs front, for what it really represents.

Are we heading in the right direction?

To find out, we took a closer look at the official data published yesterday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). According to Table B-1, Establishment Data, the American economy has lost a total of -569,000 non-farm jobs since January of 2001. So in terms of jobs growth, what is factual is that not one new net job has been realized over the last 11 years (see table below). So are we headed in the right direction? I am reminded of a quote from the movie “2012” – “When they tell you not to panic, that’s when you run.”

Zooming in a little closer, we can see that -1,663,000 jobs have been lost since February of 2009, the month after Obama’s inauguration (see table below). So although 1,640,000 jobs were gained in the year 2011, and 940,000 in 2010, long forgotten by Obama are the -4,243,000 jobs that were lost during his first year in office. Granted, the fact that the economy is no longer losing jobs is a good thing, but it doesn’t necessarily mean we are heading in the right direction. One would have to examine a number of other factors in order to make that affirmation, such as the recent downgrade to the U.S.A.’s credit rating, and the 333% growth in government debt over Obama’s first three years.

By comparison, George W. Bush, who also inherited a recession from his predecessor, suffered total job losses of -2,199,000 by the end of his third year in office (see table below), while Obama lost -1,663,000 during his first three years (see table above).

So for starters, it is incorrect to state that any jobs have been created since Obama became president, because net jobs have been lost (not gained). Therefore, a more fair and balanced statement would be that, ‘during their first three years in office, Obama lost -536,000 fewer jobs than Bush’. Now as far as I’m concerned, that’s hardly worth breaking out the caviar and champagne. What it really means is that in comparing both presidents up to this point in their terms, Obama is less of a loser than Bush. But two losers don’t make a winner.

Were more jobs created in 2011 than in any year since 2005?

Next, since Obama remarked that ‘more jobs were created in the year 2011 than in any year since 2005’, we must verify his claim. Actually this is not true, as you can see in the table below. The facts show that in 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007 the economy produced total jobs growth of 2,047,000, 2,496,000, 2,078,000, and 1,092,000 jobs, respectively. So although it may have been correct to state that more net jobs were realized in 2011 than in any year since 2006, because 2,078,000 were realized in 2006, while 1,092,000 were attained in 2007, versus 1,640,000 in 2011, pulling the year 2005 out of a hat was a stretch.

“It is hard to believe that a man is telling the truth when you know that you would lie if you were in his place”.  ~ Henry Louis Mencken

Aside from twisting the truth, all that this really means is that fewer net jobs were realized in 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010 than in 2011. So what? The recession officially ended in June of 2009, and now finally, two and a half years later, Obama beat what are essentially recessionary benchmarks. Congratulations! But what about the -3,600,000 jobs that were lost in 2008? And the -5,063,000 that were lost in 2009? It’s as if a tiny accomplishment, cherry-picked from an arbitrary year, isolated from the rest of recent history, has the power of changing that very history. Sure thing chief!

In the end, over Bush’s eight-year term, from February of 2001 through January of 2009, a total of 1,094,000 net jobs were realized; while during Obama’s first three years in office, from February of 2009 through December of 2011, a total of -1,663,000 net jobs have been lost. So that means Obama must gain another 2,757,000 jobs before his left-wing moonbats can boast of even equaling what they consider to be the miniscule accomplishment of George W. Bush. Good luck with that, since you’ve got less than 12 months to get there.

Omitting Marginally Attached and Discouraged Workers

Now we will turn attention to the unemployed, and the uncounted, marginally attached and discouraged workers. You will note in the data from BLS Table A-15, Alternative Measures of Labor Utilization, (below) that during Bush’s first three recessionary years, the percentage of unemployed, plus marginally attached and discouraged workers averaged between 5.6% and 7.0%. You can also see that during Obama’s first three years, the rate has jumped to an average of between 10.5% and 11.0%. In fact, as of December 31, 2011, a larger percentage of Americans are unemployed, discouraged, or marginally attached to the labor force than at anytime since 1994 (when the statistic was first measured). So does this hidden fact somehow back up the words, “we are moving in the right direction”? Only if the direction Obama is espousing entails enslaving millions more to lives of perpetual government dependency. We’ve seen brighter mornings.

The Shrinking Labor Force

Finally, the data from BLS Table A-1, Employment Status of the Civilian Population by Sex and Age, (below) shows the number of Americans counted as part of the civilian labor force, from 2001 through 2011. We can see that during Bush’s first three years, the civilian labor force grew by 2,929,000. In contrast, the labor force has contracted by -739,000 during Obama’s first three years. So is this good, or bad? Well, since the population is growing by 1.2% each year, a contracting labor force means that a smaller proportion of the populace is working to support a larger group of retirees, unemployed, and those who have dropped out of the labor force. So I would say this isn’t exactly “morning in America”.

As you can see, the labor force grew from 143,800,000 at the end of January 2001, to 154,236,000 by January of 2009, for an increase of 10,436,000 workers over the eight-year period immediately preceding Obama. So while the labor force was expanding by an annual average of 1,304,500 new entrants before Obama, it has suddenly declined by an average of -246,333 workers per year since January of 2009. So as Obama has been out golfing, vacationing and as he now celebrates his grand achievement, better than 1,000,000 Americans have fallen through the cracks during each of his three years in office. These are either not working, not currently looking for work, or have permanently given up looking. They are not counted in the official December unemployment rate.

Most of the electorate understands that as the size of the labor force shrinks, the unemployment rate declines. But is anyone really paying attention? Since this massive decline in the civilian labor force is a verifiable fact, it’s not surprising that the Obama Administration, and much of the propagandist media have chosen to ignore it.

The Bottom Line: Obama has lost a total of -1,633,000 net jobs since he entered office. Not one new net job has been gained since the year 2007. The percentage of unemployed, plus marginally attached and discouraged workers stands at 10.5% as of December 2011, versus an average of 5.5% to 7.0% during the prior eight years. The civilian labor force has contracted by -739,000 workers since January of 2009, for an average loss of -246,333 per year, versus average growth of 1,304,500 per year in the eight years prior to Obama. So perhaps, Obama’s latest fabrication isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.


Obama’s lost labor force – NetRight Daily

Civilian Employment to Population Ratio Lowest Since Carter / Early Reagan … And Flat-lined! Employment Misery Index Increasing! – Confounded Interest

So Now, It’s ‘Recovery Winter’!! – Joshua Pundit

Obama’s Fraudulent Unemployment Rate – Liberty Works