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Driven by Massive Debt Increase, “Obama Misery Index” (OMI) Continued to Rise in July

August 20, 2009

Despite the Administration’s claim that the “stimulus” is working, the Obama Misery Index (OMI) continued to rise in July.  The OMI measures the combined change in the public debt and unemployment since President Obama was inaugurated, which are now 40% higher than the levels on January 21, 2009. 

The July rise in the OMI was driven by a continued sharp rise in the public debt, more than offsetting July’s apparent decline in the number of unemployed individuals, even as nearly 250,000 more jobs were destroyed.1 



1 Some observers may ask how the number of unemployed Americans could drop at the same time nearly a quarter of a million jobs were lost.  The answer is that even more Americans totally dropped out of the labor force.  Some may have gone back to school or opted to stay home to raise a family.  But many others simply gave up looking for work, which suggests that the actual number of Americans who would like to be employed but are not is even higher than the official government data used to create the OMI.