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Obama's Jobs Rhetoric vs. Dire Reality

Obama's Jobs Rhetoric vs. Dire Reality


The latest jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics reveals the chasm between the jobs promises President Barack Obama made in 2008 and the employment crisis 23 million Americans are trapped in today.

In 2008, Mr. Obama promised voters that the unemployment rate would be 5.2% by now. According to the most recent jobs numbers, America would need to create another 9 million jobs to reach that figure.

“Unemployment is higher today than when Barack Obama took office,” said Gov. Mitt Romney in Wisconsin on Friday. 

Indeed, in January 2009 when Mr. Obama assumed the presidency, unemployment stood at 7.6%. Today it is 7.9%.   

Worse, those numbers do not take into account the number of Americans who have given up hope and stopped searching for a job altogether. Under Mr. Obama, the labor force participation rate has sunk like a stone. In January 2009, the labor force participation rate was 65.7%. In October 2012, it was 63.8%.   

Indeed, today, a record 88,921,000 Americans are no longer in the labor force. To be included in that figure, an individual must be over 16 years of age, a civilian, not in a mental hospital or nursing home, and have stopped hunting for a job for at least four weeks.

The gulf between Mr. Obama’s jobs rhetoric and the present reality is even starker when one considers what the unemployment rate would be if those who’ve dropped out of the labor force are added back in.  Billionaire businessman and former Obama supporter Mort Zuckerman says that when the millions who have dropped out of the workforce are added to the government’s total, “the real unemployment rate is closer to 19%.”  

Since 1936, no sitting president has been reelected with unemployment above 7.2%.

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