Bleak Jobs Report Shows High Joblessness, Diminishing Workforce the New Normal in the Obama Economy

Lackluster job growth, a shrinking workforce, long-term joblessness - all hallmarks of the new normal in the Obama economy, according to the latest unemployment report released by the Department of Labor today.  Far from a one-off, several key facts in today’s report point to a long-term pattern of weak growth that has kept full-time work out of reach for millions of Americans.  Here’s more:

  • 312,000 Fewer Americans in the Workforce. “115,000 fewer Americans had jobs in August than did in July, and 312,000 fewer Americans participated in the workforce entirely.” (Washington Examiner, 9/6/13)
  • Lowest Labor Force Participation Since 1978. “[T]he participation rate -- the share of working-age Americans who either have a job or are looking for one -- dropped to its lowest level since August 1978.” (Reuters, 9/6/13)
  • Average Length of Unemployment More than Eight Months. “The average unemployed worker has been out of work for more than eight and a half months—a figure that rose for the second month in a row.” (The Wall Street Journal, 9/6/13)
  • No Change in the Proportion of Working Americans. “The proportion of the U.S. population that had a job in August was 58.6 percent. Six months earlier, the number was a whopping — wait for it — 58.6 percent. The year is nearly three-quarters over, and the economy isn’t growing fast enough to put a higher proportion of its citizens back to work.” (The Washington Post, 9/6/13)
  • Weak Economic Growth Holding Back Jobs. “About 360,000 jobs each month would lower unemployment to 6%, but that would require GDP growth in the range of 4% to 5%. Over the last four years, the pace has been a paltry 2.2%.” (The Street, 9/6/13)
  • 866,000 Out-of-Work Americans Given Up Looking for a Job. “Friday’s report showed there were 866,000 out-of-work people who have given up looking for a job, nearly the same number as a year ago.” (The Wall Street Journal, 9/6/13)
  • Decade-Long Jobs Gap. “But still, this report was a bummer: 169,000 jobs added. Plug that into the Hamilton Project’s handy-dandy jobs gap calculator, and you’ll find that this hiring pace will close the jobs gap sometime in 2023.” (The Washington Post, 9/6/13)
  • Weakest Three-Month Stretch in a Year. “Combined, June, July and August amounted to the weakest three-month stretch of job growth in a year. … . July's gain is now estimated at 104,000 — the fewest in more than a year and down from the previous estimate of 162,000. June's was revised to 172,000 from 188,000.” (Associated Press, 9/6/13)

The Obama administration’s ‘stimulus’ policies have not only failed to bring down the unemployment rate as promised, they are making matters worse.  They have forced employers to cut back jobs and hours in anticipation of rising ObamaCare costs, piled on massive debt that makes it harder for the economy to grow, and held up thousands of jobs by delaying the Keystone pipeline.   

While the administration’s failed policies have left the economy sputtering, the Republican-led House has continued focusing on jobs, passing numerous bills to increase American energy production, green light the Keystone pipeline, revitalize manufacturing, do away with ObamaCare mandates for all Americans, and much more.  As Speaker Boehner said today, “The sooner President Obama starts working with both parties to expand American energy production, repeal his health care law and focus on patient-centered reforms, and solve Washington’s spending problem, the stronger our economy will be for all Americans.”

Read the Republican Plan for Economic Growth & Jobs at gop.gov/jobs.


Tags: Economy, Jobs