Although the Obama Administration is celebrating the longest consecutive period of unemployment claims under 300,000 since 1973, one major reason claims are low is that a record 93,175,000 mostly younger Americans have been squeezed out of the workforce.
For the week ending April 2, the Department of Labor reported that new seasonally adjusted unemployment claims had fallen by 9,000 to 267,00, a 9,000 decrease from the prior week. The four-week trend came in at 266,750, only a 3,500 increase from the previous week.
President Obama likes to say that the “Great Recession” that lasted from December 2008 to June 2010, and saw unemployment reach 10 percent, was the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s — and that he turned the country around.
But the 1980s “Double Dip Recession” lasted for almost three years, and saw a higher unemployment peak of 10.8 percent.
The Obama Administration’s “good news” about unemployment claims has only been possible because the percentage of Americans adults participating in the U.S. workforce (who had a job or were actively seeking one), has matched a 1979 low during President Jimmy Carter’s administration.
Of the 250,080,000 working-age adults currently in the U.S. labor force, only 156,906,000 — or 62.7 percent – were participating in the labor force. A total of 148,331,000 had a job; 8,575,000 who did not have a job and are actively seeking one are considered as unemployed, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The Obama administration’s Department of Labor tries to blame the decline in the U.S. labor participation rate on, “baby boomers’ exit from the prime-aged workforce and their movement into older age groups.”
But a review of the labor force participation rate demographic data for age and sex since 2009 reveals labor participation for prime age working adults ages 25 to 64 fell by about 3.1 percent for men and about 3.5 percent for women.
Those baby boomer seniors 65 and older that the administration claims have been leaving the workforce since 2009 have actually increased their labor force participation rate from 45.5 percent to 53.2 percent.
The real victims in America’s shrinking labor force participation rate are workers is every demographic group age 16 to 54 who are seeing their share of jobs shrivel.