GOP Policy Chairman: Where Did 3.8M Workers Go?

In the wake of controversy over the true interpretation of the Labor Department’s job numbers released Friday, the Senate Republican Policy Committee today got a sheet full of interesting statistics over lunch. Here’s what committee chairman Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) handed out:

  • The White House predicted in February 2009, when President Obama signed the $800 billion stimulus bill, that unemployment in the first quarter of 2012 would be 6 percent. Friday’s report indicated 8.3 percent unemployment.
  • Since the stimulus was enacted, there have been 36 straight months of unemployment over 8 percent.
  • In regards to those unemployment numbers, America has lost 3.8 million from the work force. The Congressional Budget Office forecast labor participation for 2012 at 65.3 percent.

If you take into account that workforce forecast, unemployment would be 10.4 percent today. “Instead, the Obama economy has shrunk the labor participation rate to 63.7 percent, the lowest since 1983,” Barrasso’s analysis states.

Further looking at the January 2012 jobs report shows a rise in both “discouraged” and part-time workers from December, Barrasso notes.

He added that since the stimulus there has been an 83 percent increase in long-term unemployment and a 100 percent increase in the average time a worker stays unemployed (20 weeks to 40 weeks).

Barrasso took over as chairman of the policy committee on Jan. 26.


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