Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Labor Force Participation hits 34-year record low

Labor Force Participation Rate from 2007 (Pelosi/Reid) to 2013

Labor Force Participation Rate from 2007 (Pelosi/Reid) to 2013

Power Line blog reports on a disturbing new white paper about unemployment in America.

Excerpt:

A comprehensive disaster like the Obama administration can’t be summed up in one statistic, but the one that comes closest is labor force participation. The combined effect of many misguided policies–Obamacare, ballooning spending, massive debt, tax increases, subsidizing of inefficient energy, anti-growth regulation, encouragement of food stamp fraud, and many more–has been to drive many millions of Americans out of the labor force. Express Employment Professionals has produced a white paper that illuminates this human tragedy:

The labor force participation rate is currently at a level not seen since the 1970s – 63.4 percent.

While the unemployment rate has steadily decreased from its high of 10.0 percent in October of 2009 to 7.4 percent in July of 2013, the percentage of Americans in the labor force has not risen. It has fallen about 2.7 percentage points since the onset of the latest recession.

This is a tragedy in the making, and its impact on the country has been underestimated. When Americans quit looking for work because they conclude not working beats working, America faces a significant problem.

[...]President Obama’s policies have devastated all age groups, but the most heartbreaking impact is on the young:

Gallup reports that, “The lack of new hiring over the past several years…seems to have disproportionately reduced younger Americans’ ability to obtain full-time jobs.”

According to Gallup’s “Payroll to Population” measure, fewer Millennials were working full time in June of 2013 than in June of 2012, 2011, or 2010.

A recent 2012 Pew Research Center study found that 36 percent of the nation’s Millennials were still living with their parents.

And massive growth in the number of people collecting disability, too:

Fourteen million Americans on disability–that is more than the populations of Wyoming, Vermont, North Dakota, Alaska, South Dakota, Delaware, Rhode Island, Montana, New Hampshire, Maine, Hawaii, Idaho and West Virginia, combined: every man, woman and child in 13 states. The exploding ranks of the “disabled” are due to the absence of jobs in Barack Obama’s economy.

Keep in mind that we are blowing through over a trillion dollars in deficits for EACH of Obama’s 4 years in office. Shouldn’t we be getting a higher level of labor force participation? If you took out a loan to expand your business, you would certainly expect to be able to hire more people and get more sales and make more products, wouldn’t you? But it seems as if we took out a HUGE loan as a nation and we are actually contracting our business.

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9.5 million people have left the workforce under Obama

BLS Labor Force Participation April 2013

BLS Labor Force Participation April 2013

CNS News explains the real state of the work force in America.

Excerpt:

9.5 million Americans have left the workforce during the presidency of Barack Obama, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In April, the total number of Americans counted as “not in the labor force” declined for the first time since December, but that number was still near a record high at 89,936,000.  

Those not in the labor force declined by 31,000, from a record high of 89,967,000 in March.  That broke the recent record of 89,304,000 not in the labor force in February of this year.

Since February 2009, the first full month of Obama’s presidency, 9,549,000 people have left the labor force.  There were 80,387,000 Americans not working that month, compared with 89,936,000 not working or looking today, according to the latest economic release from BLS.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) labels people who are unemployed and no longer looking for work as “not in the labor force,”and that includes people who have retired on schedule, taken early retirement, or simply given up looking for work.

In the 50 months since Obama has been in office, the number of people counted as not in the labor force has declined 16 times.

Remember that during that period, we have been adding more people through birth and immigration, and running up our national debt by over SIX TRILLION dollars since Obama took office (total debt is now $17 trillion). When you spend that much money, you should be seeing MORE people employed. And you would be seeing that, if it’s being spent on private sector job creation. But it’s not. It’s being wasted. And the very people who voted for Obama – the young people – are the ones who will have to pay it all back. Without jobs! Is collecting money from government welfare a long-term solution to repaying the debt? That’s what we are doing now – putting millions of people on disability and welfare. Is that going to help them to pay back all of Obama’s borrowing later?

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200,000 fewer people are employed, labor force participation reaches 1979 level

Labor Force Participation 2013 March

Labor Force Participation 2013 March

CNS News writes about some of the numbers from the latest jobs report.

Excerpt:

 A record 89,967,000 Americans were not in the labor force in March, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That is an increase of 663,000 from the 89,304,000 Americans who were not in the labor force in February.

Since President Barack Obama was first inaugurated in January 2009, 9,460,000 people have dropped out of the labor force.

The BLS counts a person as not in the civilian labor force if they are at least 16 years old, are not in the military or an institution such as a prison, mental hospital or nursing home, and have not actively looked for a job in the last four weeks. The department counts a person as in the civilian labor force if they are at least 16, are not in the military or an institution such as a prison, mental hospital or nursing home, and either do have a job or have actively looked for one in the last four weeks.

The number of people that BLS considers “in the labor force” affects the unemployment rate–which is the percentage of people “in the labor force” who are unable to find a job during the month. If someone previously considered “not in the labor force” were to go out and search for a job and not find one, they would have to be counted as in the labor force for that period–and thus would increase the unemployment rate.

To the degree that Americans choose to simply drop out of the labor force rather than search unsuccessful for a job they decrease the unemployment rate.

In keeping with the increase in the number of people not in the labor force, the labor force participation rate decreased from 63.5 percent in February to 63.3 percent in March. The labor force participation rate is the percentage of Americans in the civilian population over age 16 who did not have a job or seek a job during the month.

One of Obama’s favorite constituencies also has a lot to think about with this report. The labor union voters, who thought that socialism would provide them with “good paying jobs”. Well, socialism did provide someone with good-paying jobs. When union workers voted for anti-business radical, there were lots of good paying jobs created by American companies – just not in America. That’s what attacking business achieved, it made them expand elsewhere or close up entirely. Obama’s union supporters need to think about whether they can make a living on gay marriage alone.

And that’s not all:

The number of American workers collecting federal disability payments climbed to yet another record of 8,853,614 in March, up from 8,840,427 in February, according to newly released data from the Social Security Administration.

[...]March was the 194th straight month that the number of American workers collecting federal disability payments increased. The last time the number of Americans collecting disability decreased was in January 1997. That month the number of workers taking disability dropped by 249 people—from 4,385,623 in December 1996 to 4,385,374 in January 1997.

As the overall number of Americans collecting disability has increased, the ratio of full-time workers to disability beneficiaries has decreased.

But there is some good news in the new report:

Figures released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) on Friday show that 315,000 women dropped out of the labor force in March.

According to BLS, the number of women not in the labor force grew to 49 million in March, up from 48.7 million in February, continuing a trend of women leaving the labor force in every month of 2013.

This is good news because one of Obama’s biggest constituents is unmarried women, with or without children. These are the people who are most likely to vote for a President like they might vote for a contestant on Dancing with the Stars or American Idol. The people who switched their votes because Al Gore kissed his wife as a staged event. The Sandra Fluke wing of the Democrat party. The good news is that now they have something to think about before the next election besides free contraception.

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Obama’s first term: number of Americans not in labor force rises 8,332,000

Democrats take over House and Senate in 2007

Democrats take over House and Senate in 2007

From CNS News.

Excerpt:

The number of Americans age 16 or older who decided not to work or even to seek a job increased by 8,332,000 to a record 88,839,000 in President Barack Obama’s first term, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

At the same time, the number of retired workers collecting Social Security increased by only 4,234,480.

The increase in Americans opting out of the labor force during Obama’s first term resulted in a decrease in the labor force participation rate from 65.7 percent in January 2009, the month Obama was first inaugurated, to 63.6 percent in December 2012, the latest month reported. Before Obama took office, the labor force participation rate had not been as low as 63.6 percent since 1981, the year President Ronald Reagan took over from President Jimmy Carter.

To be in the labor force a person must either have a job or actively sought one in the previous four weeks.

When Obama was inaugurated in January 2009, there were 80,507,000 American civilians age 16 or older who did not have a job or seek one. In December 2012, there were 88,839,000—thus, the increase of 8,332,000.

In early 2007, the unemployment rate under George W. Bush was around 4.4%. The media at the time was not impressed with such a “high” amount of unemployment. Starting in mid-2007, we saw a huge spike in unemployment, just after the Democrats took over the House and Senate. The media is now thrilled that unemployment is now much less of a problem than it was under that evil capitalist George W. Bush, so it’s not worth reporting on.

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Moody’s anticipates U.S. credit downgrade following fiscal cliff deal

Here’s the latest from the Moody’s web site.

Excerpt:

Moody’s Investors Service said that the fiscal package passed by both houses of Congress yesterday is a further step in clarifying the medium-term deficit and debt trajectory of the federal government. It does not, however, provide a basis for a meaningful improvement in the government’s debt ratios over the medium term. The rating agency expects that further fiscal measures are likely to be taken in coming months that would result in lower future budget deficits, which are necessary if the negative outlook on the government’s bond rating is to be returned to stable. On the other hand, lack of further deficit reduction measures could affect the rating negatively. Notably, yesterday’s package does not address the federal government’s statutory debt limit, which was reached on December 31. The need to raise the debt limit may affect the outcome of future budget negotiations.

[...]The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that the net increase in budget deficits from the fiscal package when compared to its baseline scenario (which assumes taxes on all income levels would increase) is about $4 trillion over the coming decade, excluding higher interest costs on the resultant higher debt. Based on that estimate, a preliminary calculation by Moody’s shows that the ratio of government debt to GDP would peak at about 80% in 2014 and then remain in the upper 70 percent range for the remaining years of the coming decade. Stabilization at this level would leave the government less able to deal with future pressures from entitlement spending or from unforeseen shocks. Thus, further measures that bring about a downward debt trajectory over the medium term are likely to be needed to support the Aaa rating.

This will not be our first credit rating downgrade, we had one before from Standard and Poor’s in August 2011 and a second one from Egan Jones in April 2012. So this will be the third one in a row during Obama’s borrowing and spending spree.

Would you like to see some graphs showing the impact that the fiscal cliff deal has on our long-term debt? There is a pretty good article on National Review by Yuval Levin that has the charts. The truth is that entitlements are driving our debt, and the fiscal cliff deal does nothing about it.

All Obama seems to be able to do as President is borrow from future generations in order to spend now. When I consider his drug-using years with his “Choom Gang” friends, I’m not sure that he is really qualified to do anything other than borrow and waste money. So far, he’s spent a lot more time using drugs than running businesses in the private sector, it seems to me. Maybe he has an addiction issue with borrowing and spending?

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