As noted below, the invisible unemployed reflect adults who dropped out of the labor force and adults expected to join the labor force but who did not in the wake of Democrats’ trillion-dollar 2009 stimulus plan. If these individuals were in the official labor force, they would be counted as officially unemployed and raise the current 8.1 percent unemployment rate to 11 percent. But since they are sitting on the sidelines of the Obama economy, they are simply ignored by official government unemployment figures. Highlighting the difficulty American workers have in finding work, the share of the actual labor force that is working or looking for a job (known as the labor force participation rate) fell in April to the lowest level in over 30 years.
Sources: January 2009 Romer/Bernstein Report (“Administration Prediction With Stimulus Plan”), actual U.S. Department of Labor data and Ways and Means Republican staff calculations of invisible unemployed. The “invisible unemployed” are defined as unemployed persons not included in official unemployment rate calculations because they are not currently in the labor force, compared with the month Democrats’ stimulus passed (February 2009). This includes people who quit looking for jobs since stimulus passed and dropped out of the labor force, plus other working-age adults who never entered the labor force, but presumably would have if the labor force participation rate was the same as when stimulus passed.