CBO: Real Unemployment Is 15 Percent

The Congressional Budget Office released a report Thursday that showed real unemployment in America at 15 percent for the month of January, a figure considerably higher than the White House’s oft-cited 8.3 percent figure that does not include part-time workers seeking full-time work or those who have given up hope of finding a job altogether.

From the CBO:

Many people would like to work but have not searched for a job in the past four weeks, or are working part-time but would prefer full-time work. If those people were counted among the unemployed, the unemployment rate in January 2012 would have been about 15 percent.

Furthermore, the CBO reported that the “United States is experiencing the longest stretch of high unemployment since the Great Depression” with no end in sight through 2014.

Worse, the CBO reports that the ravages of the Obama Economy have created an unprecedentedly high rate of long-term unemployment, which the CBO defines as a person who has been seeking work for over 26 months.

Over 40 percent of people who are currently unemployed have been out of work for more than half a year, as compared with about one-quarter during the 1981-1982 recession.  The extent of long-term unemployment is much greater than would be expected on the basis of its historical relationship with the overall unemployment rate.

That means that during the 1981-1982 recession President Ronald Reagan led America out of–which was the only other time in the post-World War II era that unemployment rose above 10 percent as it did in October 2009 under Barack Obama–long-term unemployment was 15 percent less than it presently is today under Barack Obama.

The CBO report was issued at the request of Rep. Sander Levin (D-MI).