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Under Obama Administration, New Workforce Dropouts Outnumber New Employees 74 to 1

June 18, 2012

Two years ago, on June 17, 2010, the Obama Administration announced the arrival of what it called “Recovery Summer.”  The White House touted it as “the most active Recovery Act season yet, with tens of thousands of projects underway across the country that will help to create jobs for American workers and economic growth for businesses, large and small.” 

Instead, the economy continues to be dismal, with the private sector far from “doing fine,” despite President Obama’s claims to the contrary.
For example, since the start of the Obama Administration, new workforce dropouts have outnumbered new employees by over 74 to 1:

Changes in the Number of Employed and Those Not in the Labor Force,
January 2009-May 2012

As the table below reflects, this trend is shared by both men and women, each of whom have seen far more individuals depart from the workforce than find new employment.

Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Ironically, these large numbers of Americans dropping out of the labor force are artificially improving current economic statistics.  As a number of reviewers have noted, if the Americans who stopped looking for jobs were counted as officially unemployed, the U.S. unemployment rate would be around 11 percent today instead of the “official” 8.2 percent rate.