The PJ Tatler

Don't Read Too Much Into the Fact that More Americans Went on Disability than Got Jobs in June

Is this a step in the right direction?

More workers joined the federal government’s disability program in June than got new jobs, according to two new government reports, a clear indicator of how bleak the nation’s jobs picture is after three full years of economic recovery.

The economy created just 80,000 jobs in June, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday. But that same month, 85,000 workers left the workforce entirely to enroll in the Social Security Disability Insurance program, according to the Social Security Administration.

The disability ranks have outpaced job growth throughout President Obama’s economic recovery. While the economy has created 2.6 million jobs since June 2009, fully 3.1 million workers signed up for disability benefits.

In other words, the number of new disability enrollees has climbed 19% faster than the number of new jobs created during the sluggish recovery. (Even after accounting for people who left the disability program because they died or aged into retirement, the disability ranks have climbed more than 1.1 million in the past three years.)

Under Obama, who promised to fundamentally transform America, dependency grows faster than the economy. But seriously, don’t read too much into this.