NYT: Real Unemployment at 21.9 Million

On Friday, President Barack Obama’s Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers Alan B. Krueger took a victory lap of sorts after the Labor Department’s jobs report showed the U.S. added 165,000 nonfarm payroll jobs in April.

“Today’s employment report provides further evidence that the U.S. economy is continuing to recover,” said Krueger.

But behind Friday’s Labor Department figures lies a stark economic reality: America remains in a downward jobs spiral.

Consider the following: according to the Labor Department, the U.S. added 165,000 jobs in April, but to return to pre-recession employment levels, the U.S. would need to add 208,000 jobs a month over seven years.

The government officially recognizes 11.7 million individuals as being unemployed. But as the New York Times notes, including “those who are underemployed—that is, adding in those workers who are part-time but want to be employed full time, and workers who want to work but are not looking—brings the total up to 21.9 million."

Since President Barack Obama took office, 9.5 million Americans have fallen out of the U.S. workforce.  Today, 89,936,000 people living in the U.S. no longer work.

That means America is trapped in the slowest job market recovery since World War II.

As New York Times economic reporter Binyamin Appelbaum concludes, “the United States economy is not getting any closer to recreating the jobs lost during the recession.”


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